In August 2016, two of the most popular pond plants in the UK were banned by the EU as part of the Invasive Alien Species Regulation. Water hyacinth and Elodea crispa were included in a list of 37 species that were of concern across the EU, and retailers were given 12 months to clear their shelves of these species according to advice given by DEFRA.
In Britain, the Water Hyacinth has long been a popular and effective way to protect garden ponds from predators, prevent algae and provide shade during the summer months before finally succumbing to autumn temperatures. However despite concerted campaigning from the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) that these species posed no threat of invasion, the European Commission disagreed and the 12 month grace period has ended, meaning that from the 3rd of August 2017, Maidenhead Aquatics will officially cease trading in these two species for the foreseeable future.
This will of course be a disappointing loss to many water gardeners across Britain, but the good news is that if you already have these plants in your pond, you will not have to remove them but must take care not let them spread elsewhere. Further background information is available at the following articles in Horticulture Week and at OATA's website.
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