It’s a bloomin’ disgrace
Gardeners could be ‘criminalised’ for growing Rhododendrons
‘ …UKIP calls for commonsense over new EU rules…
A call for commonse has gone out from UKIP MEPs after reports revealed British gardeners could find themselves on the wrong side of the law if they grow Rhododendrons.
Horticulturalists are becoming increasingly concerned about rules over foreign plant species which are due to be thrashed out in the European Parliament next month.
The rules are to halt the the spread of environmentally-damaging species but many gardeners up and down the land could end up ‘criminalised’ for innocuous plants they had had for many years, including Rhododendrons and other so-called invasive plants.
Now East Midlands UKIP MEPs Roger Helmer and Derek Clark have called for commonsense to prevail.
Mr Helmer said: “Of course UKIP recognises the risks associated with invasive species and supports effective policies to control them. But we believe the UK as an island may need a different approach from Continental countries.
“We do not support heavy-handed new rules from Brussels, and we do not support criminalising home owners and gardeners who happen to have Rhododendrons in the garden.”
And fellow MEP Derek Clark backed his stance. He said: “The point in excluding foreign species is to prevent either a takeover, as in Japanese Knotweed leading to the extinction of native species, or to prevent the transmission of disease.
“The latter possibility is the reason for prohibiting the import of rooted plants where the problem would be in the remaining soil on the root as opposed to the root itself.
“The proposed exclusion of plants like Rhododendrons is nonsense, they have been present in British gardens for a very long time without causing problems. Has the Commission not got anything better to do with its time and our money?”
From the Office of Derek Clark, MEP, East Midlands