New Web Site – New Ideas – Same old Mike Clough May 27, 2015

Some of you may have noticed that we have a new website and some new marketing ideas. 

I cannot tell you how relieved I am to have got rid of the old site which NEVER achieved what we set out to do.

The previous marketing design company were crap, not only were they crap but they were also con men and rip of artists.

I thought that there was a load of smoke and mirrors in Japanese Knotweed removal…. but we have NOTHING on these companies dealing in the black arts of web design and Google analytics ….

So here we are with a new MARKETING company called ’Pure’ based in Macclesfield and you will not meet a more enthusiastic straight talking group of people. They pick up on your ideas and create concepts that actually reflect what you had in mind…not some lily livered, pussy assed version of a half formed idea they copied from somebody else ….(….like the previous company did)…

The current campaign reflects Mikes continuing obsession with horror movies and gore ….and trying to make a link with zombies, the ‘undead’ and…Japanese Knotweed.

The campaign takes the link a stage further using the concept of the film ’28 Weeks Later’ and imagines the growth of a new knotweed infestation over this period. Any zombie fan will have seen footage of the spread of an ‘undead’ infestation as the zombie hoard ravage the living and spread the virus worldwide (see ’World War ‘z’’ starring Mike Clough*)….compare this with the spread of Japanese Knotweed over the last 100 years and you will see where I’m coming from…

Film footage has been adapted to suit Mike’s latest presentation with all the new material being launched at our seminar on May 20th this year (to which places are still available).

Mike C
NB…sorry it may have been Brad Pitt

Staff – who’d have ’em… May 19, 2015

Over my time as a business owner (…now in my 32 year of having my own business) I have employed a variety of staff, some have been good, some have been bad …and some have been downright bonkers.

Currently we have a great team…but experience tells me not to relax….anything could happen …and probably will.

We have been interviewing recently and the experience always opens my eyes as to how people present themselves. Some people come along dressed very casually and others make an effort and put on a suit.

Now this does give me a dilemma – as a registered ‘punk’ during the 1970’s and 80’s  …I totally rebelled against societies strict rules on what you could and couldn’t wear. I worked for Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and was known as ‘pinky’ – this being due to the colour of my Mohican hair cut at the time – I typically wore Doc Martins boots and shorts, with a T shirt emblazoned with whatever my favourite band was at the time.

BUT…let’s be clear here, I worked my ass off.

I was a junior landscape architect working for a very workshy boss who just wanted an easy life, had no design skills and couldn’t tell one plant from another. His apathy was my opportunity to get to work on projects that I was probably both inexperienced and under qualified to do.

…nobody in their right mind would have allowed a junior designer to create a new layout for the town centre – luckily for me, my boss wasn’t in his right mind – so I got to play with a huge budget and put in some funky details that were well ahead of their time.

The point I’m making here is that you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Anybody who went on first impressions would have run a mile from me and would probably thought I was an escapee from the local asylum.

So…how can I be such a hypocrite as to expect my team (and any interviewees) to all conform to standard ideas of dress code and behaviour?

I think what it comes down to is showing a bit of ‘respect’.

When I got the job in Oldham I dyed my hair brown and put on a shirt and tie – I made an effort to appear normal – I then gradually introduced the ‘real’ me over a period of months when people had realised that I was hard working and conscientious.

When people come for an interview with me – I do expect them to make an effort, check out our website, put on something reasonably smart, make an effort – show that you CARE.

Once you’ve established yourself in your new role …then you can begin to relax…until then it’s a shirt with a tie and a smart pair of shoes*….sorry.

Mike C


Panic in the Streets May 13, 2015

Over the last twenty years or so I’ve been prattling on about invasive species…but only occasionally getting people to listen. Most of the time I just had people say ..’Japanese what weed?’ …or …’Giant what plant?’ …and they then pay very little attention to anything else that I’ve said….thinking that I’m some nutter.

It’s taken a while for me to be taken seriously but… slowly but surely my credibility is rising – to the point where my wife will actually agree to be seen in public with me…maybe it’s the TV appearances (Countryfile, Inside Out, Rip Off Britain, Sky News, BBC News) maybe it’s the Radio Shows (too numerous to mention)…or maybe it’s just that people are far more environmentally aware than they used to be??

Actually I suspect its more than a little to do with me…..but can one man actually make such a difference you may well be asking?

Well…given that Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd were THE FIRST company to recognise the problems with this most invasive of species, and THE FIRST company to provide a niche market business dealing solely with Japanese Knotweed – the I guess ‘yes’ would be the answer to the question.

I have been speaking and presenting about JK for over fifteen years and have travelled the length and breadth of the UK speaking to such diverse groups as the RICS and the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) as well as the big lenders such as Santander and Barclays as well as multiple house builders, developers and home owners.
What is a little peculiar in my little world is that for the last ten years or so I’ve been raising awareness about invasive species….yet now I seem to spend much of my time trying to lower the profile and calm people down!

The general UK population have gone from complete ignorance about invasive species ….to now being unable to sleep at night for fear of being abducted by something green and nasty at the bottom of the garden!

I take calls from people in floods of tears because they have found Japanese Knotweed in a field 75 metres from their house….and….because of this ….their dream house has been ruined and their lives are put on hold whilst the dreaded alien is dealt with…



I’ve recently been involved with a variety of cases where Knotweed has caused an issue for no good reason;

In the first two cases the knotweed issues were well outside of what would be considered a risk by any reasonable person. Calm and reasoned argument should win over the most cautious of lenders and a professional adviser (see should be able to resolve any conflict.

What I do think we will be getting more and more of – is the house owner who declares their property ‘Japanese Knotweed free’ – then is proven to be making a fraudulent statement when the plant raises its ugly head later in the year.

As home owners become more ‘savvy’ we will be getting people hiding their knotweed problems from visiting surveyors and hoping to retain their home value by not declaring issues or problems that they may have had. This will lead to claims by the new purchaser for;

I strongly believe that over time – the market will calm down – we will get the odd case where somebody is trying to pull a fast one and hide their invasive species problems…but I believe that common sense will begin to prevail.
At the end of the day –

Mike C