Invasives conference to include sneak peek at Japanese knotweed field trials

Delegates at a conference about non-native invasive plants will be able to see first-hand pioneering field trials where control methods for Japanese knotweed are being researched.

Japanese knotweed. Image: HW
Japanese knotweed. Image: HW

National trade body The Property Care Association (PCA) is holding its inaugural conference on invasive weeds on 23 September at The Vale Resort, Hensol, Cardiff.

Before and after the conference, attendees will be able to visit large-scale field trials being conducted in South Wales by Swansea University researchers.

The academics say in order to minimise the social and economic impacts of Japanese knotweed, control is undertaken across the UK at a cost of £165.6 million annually. Their research is looking to find the best means of controlling the invasive weed and is being conducted in a major programme using 64 15m x 15m field trial plots located across three sites.

Daniel Jones, who is leading the study, will escort delegates on organised tours to the field trials on 22 and 24 September.

Stephen Hodgson, chief executive of the PCA, said: "This is a superb opportunity for conference delegates to see first-hand how pioneering research is being undertaken using a series of field trials to determine the most effective, and ineffective, of Japanese knotweed control methods.

"These field trial sites are being used to compare combinations of both physical control methods and herbicide based methods. The research is also looking at the timing of application for control methods and will include associated economic and environmental costs.

"Ultimately the research aims to provide long-term evidence based assessment of Japanese knotweed control method effectiveness and we are very pleased to be able to introduce these sites visits and offer this insight as part of the conference

The field trials are based less than 10 miles from the conference venue at The Vale Resort. Prompt booking is advised as numbers are strictly limited. The site visits have been organised with the help of Complete Weed Control.

'Understanding Invasive Weeds: Japanese Knotweed, Fact and Fiction' is the first conference held by the PCA's specialist Invasive Weed Control Group and is being facilitated by Richard Newis, Ashfield Japanese Knotweed (chair), Ian Graham,
Complete Weed Control and Professor Max Wade, AECOM.

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