Inexperienced firms under fire at weed control conference

The rise of inexperienced contractors claiming to specialise in clearing Japanese knotweed was debated at a conference in Barcelona, organised by weed specialist Complete Weed Control (CWC).

All 48 CWC franchisees then met at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, to discuss the problems posed by emerging competitors which, CWC said, had little experience or knowledge of the problem. CWC managing director Ian Graham said: "We have heard of people being charged outrageous amounts for dealing with Japanese knotweed by people who know little about the weed.

"As experts in this field with more than 20 years of dealing with this weed, we know exactly what treatments to use. The same cannot be said of some operators who claim to be knotweed specialists."

His concerns have been echoed by others in the field. Suffolk-based Thurlow Countryside Management managing director Howard Downer said: "It's very frustrating for reputable operators."


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