Control noxious weeds now

Date published: 20 March 2023

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) reminds farmers and landowners of the need to control noxious weeds.


Under the Noxious Weeds (Northern Ireland) Order 1977, ragwort, creeping thistle, spear thistle, broad leafed docks, curled leafed docks and wild oats are defined as noxious weeds. DAERA has powers under the Order to insist that these weeds are controlled under notice and failure to comply with such a requirement could result in prosecution and/or Basic Payment penalty.  

Owners and occupiers of land are also reminded that ragwort (also called ragweed or benweed) is poisonous and may cause illness and even death to livestock.

Noxious weeds should be controlled before they have had time to flower, seed and spread.  A fact sheet giving information on the control of these weeds in grassland can be obtained from DAERA, Plant Health Inspection  Branch, Room 1022, Dundonald House, Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast, BT4 3SB (Tel: 028 9052 4691) or from the DAERA website.

Further advice on weed control can be obtained from a BASIS qualified agronomist or your CAFRE Crops Development Adviser. Noxious weeds complaints and complaints involving invasive alien plant species growing on agricultural land may be reported to DAERA on our helpline number 0300 200 7843.

Notes to editors: 

Under the Noxious Weeds (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 the Department is empowered to serve upon the owner of land or the occupier of land a notice requiring, within a specified time, noxious weeds to be cut down or destroyed.  Failure to comply with such a notice could lead to the instigation of legal proceedings or a penalty on Basic Payment.

Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook.

All media queries should be directed to the DAERA Press Office:

Share this page

Back to top