Japanese Knotweed was introduced into the UK by the Victorians as an ornamental garden plant. Since its introduction, it has spread rapidly, and become an unwanted aggressive coloniser of the rural and urban environment. Management of this invasive species is both difficult and can be costly if left unchecked, new estimates suggest it costs the UK economy £150m a year.
Japanese Knotweed is regulated by several pieces of legislation covering the control, handling and disposal of the plant, they include the following:
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981
- The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986
- The Environmental Protection Act 1990
- The Environmental Protection (Duty of Care) Regulations 1991
In addition to legislation, there may be instances where third parties would seek damages from Landowners for allowing Japanese Knotweed to spread to neighbouring sites. This puts a duty of care on the landowner with Japanese Knotweed infestations to be proactive in the control and eradication of it. Managing land that is infested by Japanese Knotweed in an appropriate manner can avoid:
- Excessive costs.
- Possible prosecution or compensation claims from third parties.
- Physical damage to buildings, structures and hard surfaces.
- Harm to the environment.
On infested development sites where planning permission has been applied for, it may generally be refused unless an effective control programme is in place. There are a number of recognised methods of managing Japanese Knotweed that may be utilised depending upon the level of infestation and the type of site.
Landowners who are considering controlling Japanese Knotweed should be careful of claims from companies who offer a service guaranteeing total eradication – the plant is difficult to control and can lie dormant in the ground for many years.
Should you have or think you have Japanese Knotweed growing on your land, then please contact us for advice or a free site survey. We will provide the most economic Japanese Knotweed control advice dependent on a clients individual requirements.
Connick Tree Care has a separate division of operatives trained and qualified in invasive weed control and in addition our company is registered with the Environment Agency to carry controlled waste.
Please contact us for help and advice with Japanese Knotweed or other invasive weed species.