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Invasive Weed Management : Invasive Weeds a Growing Problem…

Invasive Weed Management : Invasive Weeds a Growing Problem…

Invasive weed management to tackle Japanese Knotweed and other invasive weeds which are responsible for property and structural damage in the UK to the tune of £2.1 billion per year according to figures from the Environment Agency and Department of the Regions. Did you know that there are three species of Knotweed currently growing in the UK, up from just one a few years ago?

But, why is this a problem for property owners, transport and utilities networks and the construction and estates management/FM sectors? According to Neil Huck, Ground Control’s National Training Manager and Invasive Weeds expert, this is becoming a serious problem due to the increasing requirement to manage properties and structural assets ranging from electricity pylons, sub stations and reservoirs to railways, tunnels and bridges in often difficult access areas where these invasive weeds are growing. Allowing the spread of Knotweed in neighbouring properties could subject you to fines and removal cost as well as law suits. Additionally, mortgage lenders are now recording Knotweed in their surveys and if present could affect the property value.

And it’s not just Japanese Knotweed, although this is the most pernicious to control. A further example is Himalayan Balsam, which spreads its seed through biological ‘explosions’. These seeds can remain viable for five years, meaning a long-term treatment regime is crucial. Additionally, giant Hogweed contains sap that can cause horrific blisters on contact with skin. The only good news is that it is susceptible to herbicide if treated correctly.

Overall, the problem has got so bad that building and landowners will now be served with a species control order to manage any invasive species on their property. Failure to address invasive weed management to control the invasive species when an order has been served will result in fines of up to £20,000 for companies.


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