EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 2011 Num. article: 2011/148

Ireland and Northern Ireland: national initiatives on Codes of conduct

The answers provided by Ireland to the questionnaire on the implementation of the Council of Europe/EPPO Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants in European and Mediterranean countries are summarized below. The general conclusions of the questionnaire are presented in EPPO RS 2011/144.

An Irish Code of conduct was initially published in 2008, and is currently being updated based on the EPPO Guidelines for the development of a Code of conduct on horticulture and invasive alien plants.

Stage of implementation: Under revision.

Scale of implementation: The Code of conduct covers the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Partners associated: Statutory Nature Conservation Organizations are leading the project. In the Republic of Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service is the main body involved. In Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency plays this role.

Target of the Irish Code of conduct: Plant producers, plant sellers, public bodies, botanical gardens and landscape architects are targeted.

Financing of the initiative: The programme is financed through the ‘Invasive Species Ireland project’, by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (Republic of Ireland), and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (Northern Ireland). The ‘Invasive Species Ireland project’ has an annual budget of 100 000 GBP. The project makes 51 requirements in total with some relating to the Code of conduct. Estimates of costs are not available.

Use of legislation: This Code of conduct is based on the Draft European Communities Regulations (Birds and Natural Habitats) of 2010.

Criteria to establish lists of invasive alien plants: The following species are listed in the Code of conduct: Azolla filiculoides (Salviniaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Carpobrotus edulis (Aizoaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Crassula helmsii (Crassulaceae, EPPO A2 List), Elodea nuttallii (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Gunnera tinctoria (Gunneraceae), Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Apiaceae, EPPO A2 List), Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Lagarosiphon major (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Lemna minuta (Araceae), Myriophyllum aquaticum (Haloragaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Nymphoides peltata (Menyanthaceae), Prunus laurocerasus (Rosaceae, EPPO List of IAP) and Rhododendron ponticum (Ericaceae, EPPO List of IAP). This list of species was derived from a risk assessment process; and the nursery industry was consulted. The risk assessment accounts for the following criteria: distribution of the species, expansion range of the species, its known invasive behavior either in Ireland/Northern Ireland or elsewhere, its spread potential, its establishment potential, its ecological impacts, its impacts on human and animal health, its economic impacts, the potential to control or eradicate the species and the societal barriers to control.The updated Code of conduct will include additional species. This risk assessment process will differ slightly to the original risk assessment. The industry will be consulted on the lists again.

Main requirements of the Code:
  • know what you are growing;
  • know what you are selling and recommending;
  • know what you are specifying;
  • know what you are buying;
  • follow control advice;
  • watch out for hitchhikers on plants and soil;
  • inspect incoming consignments of plants;
  • maintain good hygiene, prevent spread;
  • report sightings.

Additional pests covered by the Code
Additional measures are specifically targeting flatworms (Arthurdendyus triangulatus, Australoplana sanguinea): growing sites and commercialized plants should be inspected for the presence of flatworms, and traps should be put in place.

Use of incentives or sanctions: Inclusion of the Code of conduct in quality insurance manuals for nursery stock, potted plants and bedding plants, as well as the involvement of landscape and garden contractors and garden centers are on-going actions recommended by the revision process.

Prevention of the spread of Invasive alien plants: The monitoring of some species is undertaken. Records on the occurrence of invasive alien species are being aggregated through citizen sightings by the Invasive Species Ireland under the project ‘alien watch’ and in the National Invasive Species Database.

Communication activities: The implementation of the Code of conduct will be supported by a range of measures linked to communication activities through the ‘Invasive Species Ireland project’:
  • production of education / awareness materials such as posters and leaflets (in development);
  • development of a dedicated webpage on the Invasive Species Ireland website (already in place but it will be updated when the new Code is available);
  • elaboration of a dedicated section on the website on high risk invasive alien plants in Ireland (already in place but it will be updated when the risk assessment process is updated) and release of this information in hard copy (on-going action);
  • production of training material on invasive species to be provided upon request (on-going action);
  • setting of a programme of engagement to the Code by the horticultural sector.
  • development of a communication campaign to raise awareness about the Code of conduct and its aims (to be developed);
  • inclusion of the Code in horticulture courses in Universities and other institutions (to be developed).

Monitoring of the implementation of the Code of conduct: It is not planned to monitor the implementation of the Code of conduct.


Maguire CM ; Kelly J (2008) Horticulture Code of Practice. Prepared for NIEA and NPWS as part of Invasive Species Ireland. Available at http://invasivespeciesireland.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Horticulture_COP.pdf
Draft European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2010. http://www.environ.ie/en/Legislation/Heritage/NatureConservation/FileDownLoad,23675,en.pdf
Invasive Species Ireland, Alien watch project, http://invasivespeciesireland.com/alien-watch/
National Invasive Species Database. http://invasives.biodiversityireland.ie/
Contact: John Kelly, Invasive Species Ireland, E-mail: jkelly@envirocentre.co.uk