Giant Hogweed is a really nasty plant which can cause severe burns if you come into contact with it. Learn how to recognise it and keep clear!
Growing up to five metres tall, it is mostly found along footpaths and riverbanks, although it also grows in places like parks, cemeteries and wasteland. This is what it looks like:
The plant’s sap contains chemicals which react with light when in contact with human skin, causing blistering within 48 hours. Effectively, it prevents the skin from protecting itself from sunlight, which can lead to very bad sunburn and scarring. The blisters heal very slowly and the affected skin can remain sensitive to sunlight for years afterwards, resulting in a type of skin rash which flares up in sunlight.
We do our best to remove this plant if we know we have it on our land. Unfortunately though, it is a very invasive species, it is not easy to remove and it does spread, especially along streams and river banks.
If you spot any on our land, please tell us about it by calling us on 03456 723 723.
What should you do if you come into contact with it?
If you touch a Giant Hogweed, you should cover the affected area, and wash it with soap and water. If you feel unwell or have a severe reaction you are advised to see a doctor.