Fears Exeter council plans will let Japanese knotweed spread

Consultancy Southern Ecological Solutions (SES) has spoken out following reports of Exeter County Council considering dropping the treatment of Japanese knotweed as a cost-cutting measure.

Japanese knotweed. Image: HW
Japanese knotweed. Image: HW
Councillor Rob Hannaford said the move could lead to the invasive species getting out of control and could soon affect other areas.

"We had huge problems with Japanese knotweed some years ago in and around the former county ground site as part of the redevelopment work there," he said.

"If the county council axes the current budget for dealing with this problem I think that, as many areas that it grows in are in effect 'unadopted' no man's land or vacant sites, the untreated weed will then spread out into other areas, and much of this will be highways land with all the damaging effects that it entails."

SES, which is often involved in managing Japanese knotweed issues, responded: "This particular invasive species grows very aggressively and, if left untreated, it can cause a huge amount of damage to buildings, roads and more.

"It's always recommended to take the necessary precautions when it comes to Japanese knotweed, and it's imperative to keep it in check in order to avoid any structural damage to areas of land. This species can grow up to ten centimetres a day, so keeping it under control by using the correct treatment methods is vital."

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