Expertise in Weed Control


Invasive weeds disrupt the local ecosystem as they tend to be faster growing or more aggressive than native species. The native species are often unable to compete with this growth and so the invasive weeds begin to take over. It is vital that the invasive weeds are controlled before their growth impacts native flora and fauna.

Together with my expert team I am able to offer a comprehensive invasive weed control service. This includes a site visit and survey, advice, control of the weeds and after-care. With 20 years of practical spraying experience, you’re in safe hands with my knowledgeable operators, who have achieved industry-leading NPTC qualifications. We will work in partnership with you to ensure that your weed control strategy is carefully planned and delivered.


The team has the knowledge, expertise and equipment required to tackle weeds in sensitive conservation areas. We are skilled in the application of pesticides near watercourses and can offer a variety of control methods including weed wiping, spot spraying, patch spraying, stem injection, area spraying and mechanical removal.

The team also includes an agronomist, an expert in the science of agriculture. He’s qualified with BASIS, the professional body of the UK pesticide industry and so can ensure that weeds are controlled safely and effectively.

Expert Team

Qualified Operators

Specialist Equipment

Clear Management Plans

Invasive Weeds

James Gillies Contracting is able to offer effective weed control for the following invasive weeds:

Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)

Ragwort is a perennial to biennial plant that is poisonous to all livestock and is especially deadly to horses and ponies in large quantities. Land owners have a legal obligation to prevent the spread of ragwort from their land to other areas. Ragwort is also harmful to humans and can cause inflammation and blistering to sensitive skin.

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive weed that can grow up to one metre each month even through concrete or tarmac. A 1 cm piece of rhizome can produce a new plant within 10 days and can lay dormant in soil for 20 years before emerging.

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Giant Hogweed is large invasive plant that can grow up to 3 metres tall with leaves of up to one metre in diameter. This species contains a poisonous sap that is extremely hazardous and which causes painful blistering and severe irritation. It forms dense colonies that suppress the growth of any native plants.

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive weed that can grow up to 2 metres in height and is usually found near watercourses. Seed pods explode when touched and can scatter seeds up to 7 meters from the plant. It is a very dense plant that suppresses other native species and so leaves open ground prone to water erosion.


Methods of Weed Control

Spot Spraying, Patch Spraying and Area Spraying

I operate a range of spraying equipment and will select the most suitable option according to the site, ground conditions and weather conditions. All equipment has been tested under the National Sprayer Testing Scheme (NSTS) where appropriate.

Knapsack or ATV mounted hand lance

1, 2 and 6 metre boom ATV mounted

32 metre self-propelled sprayer

All equipment is fitted with nozzles to suit the pesticide being applied, the target and the weather conditions. Low drift nozzles are always available and are used by preference. All operators are NPTC trained and are registered with the National Register of Sprayer Operators (NRoSO). They keep up to date with the latest application techniques and legislation and so always work safely and efficiently. A BASIS qualified agronomist is available if required.

Weed Wiping

Weed Wiping is an environmentally sensitive method of chemical weed control. Our Weed Wiper wipes herbicide directly onto the weeds’ leaves, ensuring that only the target weeds are treated. This means that herbicide is not wasted on the rest of the field where it is not required, minimising your expenditure on herbicide, packaging and water usage.

Weed wiping is approved for use in environmentally sensitive Areas and in Countryside Stewardship Schemes including entry level and higher level field margins.

Stem Injection

In addition to our spraying equipment we also control invasive weeds by stem injection. This is a very effective method of weed control for Japanese Knotweed and giant hogweed where the herbicide is injected directly into the plants’ stems. This method of weed control is particularly effective when treating invasive weeds near watercourses. I also hold an Application of Herbicide Near Water Certificate which enables me to treat invasive weeds in and near lakes, rivers and ponds.


Areas Covered

I offer weed control services to a wide range of clients including local authorities, conservation projects, The National Trust, private estates, farmers and paddock owners.  I am able to carry out long and short term contracts to address invasive weeds in the following environments:

  • Agricultural land including all crops, grass margins and buildings
  • Woodland and forests
  • Hedgerows
  • Sports and Recreation Fields including hard and soft surfaces
  • Horse paddocks and gallops
  • Recreational amenities including playing fields, footpaths and public spaces
  • Areas of water including ponds, lakes, streams and rivers