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Controlling Japanese Knotweed would cost UK economy £2 Billion

The UK is losing the battle to control the spread of arch-enemy invasive plant Japanese Knotweed and a National Japanese Knotweed Management Plan is urgently needed, claims specialist contractor Herpetosure.

Government research estimates that Japanese Knotweed would cost the UK £1.5bn to control but this figure now appears to be a gross under-estimate – £2bn is much more realistic. The spread of this invasive plant, imported into Europe in the late 1840s, is gathering pace, particularly alongside rivers.

Japanese Knotweed (JKW) is also spreading unchecked on hundreds of brownfield ex­industrial sites across the country.

Herpetosure Invasive Solutions, which controls and eradicates Knotweed across the country, believes that the £2bn bill faced by the UK to control JKW may be conservative and it will only get bigger unless the Government understands the size of the issue and starts to take urgent action.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and some local councils are taking the threat of Japanese Knotweed to the economy seriously but there does not appear to be either the central funding or a coordinated plan by Government to tackle the plant on a national scale.

‘The cost to the construction industry is climbing every year. Government, through
Defra or the Environment Agency and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, needs to develop a National Japanese Knotweed Management Plan to halt the spread of the plant and then adopt a regulated and systematic approach to its eradication,’ says Simon York of Herpetosure Invasive Solutions Ltd.