IT is the scourge of the suburbs and feared by landowners, householders and gardeners alike.
Now Ribble Valley residents are being warned to be vigilant against Japanese knotweed, one of the UK’s most virulent and invasive plants. The weed can grow up to four inches a day from April to October: its tendrils spreading horizontally underground, with the potential to bring down walls, erode foundations and break up paving, drains and driveways.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s countryside officer, David Hewitt, said: “Japanese knotweed is one of Britain’s most invasive plants and the prevention of its spread is a legal obligation for landowners. It is difficult and expensive to manage, but non-intervention is not an option. Early treatment of a new colony is quicker and cheaper than leaving it to become established.
“If you have knotweed on your site, it is important to treat and control it. Not only can it cause untold damage to your property, but if you allow it to spread to a neighbour’s land you risk expensive civil action.”
Japanese knotweed is recognised by its shovel-shaped leaves, bamboo-like stem and white flowers produced in the autumn.
If you discover the plant on your property, contact David Hewitt on 01200 414505 without delay.