Control of problem weeds

EcoPro offers control of weeds in many situations including waste management, highways, agricultural and amenity land, car parks and business premises.

Effective weed control

Apart from keeping sites looking tidy and avoiding potential damage to roadways and buildings, we can help you keep to the law when it comes to key problem weeds.

Our weed control solutions use a range of herbicides to allow a sensitive approach to wildlife and the environment.

Weed control
Ragwort problem

Ragwort problem

Over 90% of complaints that Defra receives about injurious weeds concern Ragwort. Of the four types of Ragwort found in the UK, only Common Ragwort (Senicio Jacobaea) which is subject to control by law.

It is fatally poisonous if ingested by grazing animals. The plant contains alkaloids which are poisonous to horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, dogs and even humans. When found as a threat, this type of Ragwort must be removed and the growth of further plants must be controlled.

If Common Ragwort is not contained, the plant can grow and spread at a rapid rate. Each plant produces up to 150,000 seeds. Each seed can lay dormant for up to 20 years and the germination rate for new plants is 70%. The results can be of epic proportions.

It is not illegal to have Common Ragwort on your land, but if it begins to spread onto neighbouring land you can be prosecuted under the 1959 Weeds Act.

Ragwort control methods


Pulling is time consuming and must be complete. Roots of Ragwort can grow deep into the ground and any residual small root parts will grow back into a full plant.


Cutting the plant will become an infinite task. Each ragwort plant sets seeds in its second year. Denying the plant the opportunity to seed will encourage it to grow back stronger and more determined. Dead plants, though still palatable to animals, are as poisonous as a fresh plant.


Herbicides are the most effective long term solution to controlling ragwort. EcoPro have exclusive herbicide and spot treatment methods to contain a ragwort problem.

Japanese Knot Weed

Japanese Knotweed is damaging to countryside and property; it is illegal to cause it to grow into the wild. Because it is not native, pests and diseases that control it naturally are not present in the UK, meaning it grows far larger and stronger than it would in Japan. It is a highly invasive weed which must be tackled.

Without control Japanese Knotweed can grow to up to 10ft tall (3metres) and cause damage to paving, concrete, walls and buildings. As little as 0.7g of rhizome, a piece the size of your little finger nail, can grow into a new plant. Fresh stem material regenerates readily in a soil or water medium.

Recognise Japanese Knot Weed

Look for tall canes, reaching up to 10ft (3 metres), with purple speckling on canes, red/purple shoots and white flowers.

Japanese knot weed problem


Floating Pennywort is a fast growing weed that is able to grow 200mm a day and now threatens habitats, native plants and the fish and insects within them. It first became a problem on the waterways of the UK in the late 1980s. Initially used as an oxygenating plant, it wasn’t long at all before it spread across this country and parts of Europe.

Floating pennywort has already cost millions to control across Europe and Great Britain. Costs linked to management and the impact on tourism and recreational activities are estimated to exceed £25 million per year. Furthermore, impacts on biodiversity and habitats, through degradation of important wetland ecosystems and competition with native species are equally important, though harder to quantify.

Pennywort control methods

EcoPro offers a cost-effective solution to the control of floating Pennywort, with knowledge we have gained working for British Waterways on canals and rivers.

Using selective herbicides with an approved adjuvant, classified as safe to spray on water, we have formulated a proven method of application which will start to kill the Pennywort almost immediately. The special adjuvant helps the herbicide to stick to the plant to allow enough time for the herbicide to enter the plant before the product can be washed off.

The preferable method of application is from a suitable boat, however it can also be applied using specialist lances from the banks.

“ During recent years we have used EcoPro to combat various weed problems that we have encountered on site. They have always provided first class service for us and our neighbours. ”

Russ Parrett, Biffa Waste

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EcoPro has solutions to ragwort, knotweed and other problem weeds. We will tailor a programme to suit the weed profile, site usage and plant life cycle.