A dangerous plant which can cause severe blisters and burns has sprouted across Stroud.
And horticulturalists have issued a warning over giant hogweed which they say ‘poses a serious risk’ to those unaware of the harm it can cause.
Described as Britain’s most dangerous plant, the hogweed has been spotted at Stratford Park and Ebley bypass.
Giant hogweed is such a problem because it contains high levels of furanocoumarins. This is the chemical which causes the burning by making skin sensitive to sunlight.
The plant is such a problem that politicians included it on The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) which made it an offence to help giant hogweed to grow in England and Wales.
Under some circumstances, local authorities have the powers to require it be removed too. This is the chemical which causes the burning by making skin sensitive to sunlight.
Heracleum mantegazzianum, known as giant hogweed, can grow up to 3m (10ft) tall and is generally biennial, according to the Toyal Horticultural Society.