Scottish government to punish irresponsible gardeners

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts in Scotland now have an even greater incentive to be careful with their non-native species.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has revealed that the Scottish government has taken steps that will allow it to clamp down on the spread of such plants.

Using the new wildlife and natural environment bill, Scottish Natural Heritage can now take action to remove invasive species at the cost of the landowner.

The decision follows concerns about plants such as Rhododendron ponticum and Japanese knotweed, which have taken over large patches of the Scottish countryside.

Environment minister Roseanna Cunningham explained that it is necessary to take steps now to ensure the problem does not grow even further.

"Tougher action is needed to ensure that the exotic garden plants we throw on our compost heaps do not germinate into nuisance species," she said.

Meanwhile, the RHS recently reported that earthworms may not be as beneficial to gardeners as previously thought.

Georg-August-University Gottingen scientists have found that the insects can chew their way through seeds and seedlings before they have emerged from the soil.