Shropshire Star

Action call on invasive Japanese Knotweed plant

Councillors have raised concerns about an invasive plant species that is attacking parts of a town.

Japanese knotweed

Removing Japanese Knotweed is “considered important” by Powys County Council and work to deal with it is continuing despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The information was revealed after Llandrindod Wells South’s Liberal Democract councillor Pete Roberts asked whether coronavirus had stopped the battle against the weed.

Councillor Roberts said: “I have started to receive notification of Japanese Knotweed regrowth within my ward.

“Given the highly invasive nature of this plant and the often repeated intervention needed on a site over a number of years can you reassure me that Covid-19 will not be allowed to get in the way of our responsibilities in the respect of this and other notifiable species?

“Can you also confirm the most effective method for councillors and members of the public to notify occurrences and the level of service response they should expect this year?”

Environment portfolio holder Councillor Heulwen Hulme replied: “The control of Japanese Knotweed and other invasive weeds is considered important, and therefore it is planned to continue this service.

“The preferred method of reporting issues with invasive weeds on PCC land is via the website.”

“There is a specific page for invasive weeds with links to National Resources Wales and Royal Horticultural Society for further guidance, and a link to the appropriate online reporting form.

“Confirmed reports are added to our register, which also provides details of all the sites we are currently aware of and treating as part of an ongoing programme.”

Councillor Hulme explained that the council’s current method of dealing with Japanese Knotweed is to apply a weedkiller called Glyphosate to it two or three times between May and October.

Japanese Knotweed is one of the world’s most invasive plants and grows wild in many parts of the UK after it was introduced to the country in 1850.

The weed grows rapidly and causes problems by swamping other plants, stopping them getting light.

Under UK law it is classed as “controlled waste” and to plant or let it grow wild is now an offence. Dealing with it is estimated to cost the UK economy £166million a year.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.