I’m sorry but I haven’t budgeted for this….. January 27, 2016

If I had a quid for every time somebody said….‘I’m sorry but I just haven’t budgeted for Japanese knotweed removal on this project?  …What can you do to help me…I just can’t afford what you are quoting…’ …..I’d be a rich man.

So, what am I expected to do in this scenario?

Usually this statement is made by a multi-millionaire developer business man who has just driven up in a flash car wearing an Armani bespoke suit.

So..when you’re selling your properties Mr Developer and someone says to you … ‘I’m sorry I haven’t budgeted for the multi jet orgasmatron Jacuzzi …’ – do you give it them free or at a reduced price or do you just say….. ‘WELL YOU CAN’T HAVE IT THEN’…I think we all know the answer to that one.

So why do these developers keep trying it on?

I guess they wouldn’t be as wealthy as they are if they didn’t fight over every penny that they spend….but why would they think I would cut my margins just to help them…because….. ‘they haven’t budgeted for knotweed removal’….?????

Any developer who knows what they are doing should budget for invasive weed control. I’m sorry but this is just a fact of life in the UK. Not only should they budget for it – they should also be negotiating the land price based on what invasive species are present.

Any urban area in this country has the potential to have a knotweed problem. Areas near to rivers, railways, linear corridors or simply areas susceptible to fly tipping will have one of the invasive problem species.

And don’t start me on flooding…

We are all aware of the huge problems with flooding that much of the UK has suffered from in the last few months. One of the more insidious threats that flooding has posed is that of invasive species being spread by the raised water levels. Much is made of damage to property and homes, but what about the seed and rhizome material spread from the likes of Himalayan balsam, giant hogweed and the ever spreading Japanese knotweed???

The UK is said to have Japanese knotweed in every 10km square – add flooding into this equation and you must be multiplying and spreading the growth ever more widely. Even without the flooding events that we all hear about – Japanese knotweed spreads quickly enough – add the huge areas covered by silt and debris in the aftermath of these events and the problems just get worse.

So please, please, please developers….don’t say ….you… ‘haven’t budgeted for these problems’ – these problems are here to stay for the foreseeable future – and ‘no’ – I’m not going to deal with them ‘free’ …. just because you cocked up.

Mike C

Driverless Cars…. January 13, 2016

There are few things in life that are as enjoyable as driving a perfectly tuned car along a twisting turning road using accelerator and gears to get the best out of the vehicle. Man and machine working in perfect harmony. The boys in blue have done a fairly decent job of ruining this experience by hiding behind walls and jumping out on the unsuspecting motorist and zapping them with speed guns….fining and adding points to your licence with relish.

To me – they are missing the point.

Accidents aren’t caused just by speed, they are generally caused by somebody miss judging velocity into a corner or by simply driving like a dick. But how many of these ‘d**ks’ do you see getting stopped by the police…none, you just don’t….because the police aren’t set up to catch this sort of idiot, they’re set up to catch the middle class tax paying, hard worked business man trying to get from A to B fast enough to make his business profitable ….easy prey.

These guys (like me) have been brought up to respect the law and to kowtow to anybody wearing a uniform…so we pay up, we slow down for a few miles then get back into the habit or earning a living. In most cases these guys aren’t… ‘bad drivers’… (apart from the odd nutter taking a call on his mobile without using hands free)… Bad drivers are the drunken, uninsured, non-road tax paying idiots that always seem to get away scott free – go out and catch them please Mr Policeman.

So already my little bit of enjoyment is being eroded by knowing that on any journey that I do – I could easily lose my licence simply because I’m running late and need to put my foot down a bit. Not happy with this curb on my enthusiasm for driving some idiot is now suggesting…’driverless cars’.

Driverless f*****g cars…?

How about calling it a… ‘lifeless life…’

How about we take everything that we enjoy doing in life and get some flippin machine to do it for you?

This is all about ‘The Establishment’ making us do things that ‘they’ want us to do. The rich knobs that rule the Country don’t actually like driving…because…they don’t ever actually do it….as they have a chauffeur called Rodney who runs them everywhere.

Somebody somewhere has told them that the ‘plebs’ who do all the actual work in the country …are rapidly killing themselves in high speed crashes which happen due to their inability to afford a chauffeur so they’ve decided that driverless cars are the answer.

After all…if all us plebs can’t be trusted to drive ourselves and keep killing each other …who for f***s sake is going to cut their lawns, clean their toilets…..or get rid of their Japanese Knotweed problems.

Driverless bloody cars…



Mike C

The Others – Invasive Plants Seminar January 13, 2016

Wednesday 25th May 2016
MOSI, Manchester
10.00am until 3.00pm

For the last ten years or so, Japanese Knotweed Solutions have held a seminar where we get the most informed members of the non-native species ‘world’ to get us up to speed on all things ‘invasive.

Previous years have seen us mainly focus on Japanese Knotweed – looking at changes in legislation and the Governments bio-control strategies as managed by CABI. This year, however, we are broadening our horizons and will be looking at …The Other’s….. (as in the ‘other’ problem species)

We have Trevor Renals (Senior Technical Advisor on Invasive Species at the Environment Agency) talking about what other problems the Environment Agency have on their ever expanding list of invading species. Trevor will be touching on the complexities surrounding budgets and priorities within the EA and what we can expect from future management strategies.

We also have Olaf Booy from The Non Native Species Secretariat, who are responsible for helping to coordinate the approach to invasive non-native species in Great Britain. Olaf will be talking about what problems they see on the horizon and how best we can prepare for and manage any new problems that arrive on our shores. He will also be talking about stopping these type of species BEFORE they become a problem and how legislation will enable this to happen.

Dick Shaw will be joining us from CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International) to give updates on the Governments current bio-control strategy for Japanese knotweed as well as hinting at future plans for an additional bio attack on JK. Hopefully, Dick will also give us the lowdown on how the Himalayan balsam rust is coping with our British climate and whether we will be seeing any die back of balsam this season – fingers crossed for a good result!

Speaking in the ‘defence’ of plants will be Mr. Chris Baines – author and TV personality – a lover of plants and all things ‘wild’ in the garden. Whilst we in the ‘control industry’ give plants a bad name, Chris, will be looking at why these invasive plants have thrived and what we should be doing within our garden to encourage the ‘right’ plants to fight back.

As usual, we will be trying to bring some theatre to the proceedings with a Hollywood themed entrance and red carpet treatment for all guests. Be prepared for shock, horror and a little bit of awe…anybody who is of a nervous disposition should perhaps think twice about coming along.

Due to content – an OVER 18 certificate has been issued – may be some NUDITY – and occasional OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE (… if the PowerPoint doesn’t work…)

Mike Clough will be introducing the speakers as well as opening the day by launching the latest marketing campaign from JKSL on an unsuspecting public.

Lunch will be provided, as well some surprise entertainment – which went down such a storm at last year’s event!

To get your ticket for Wednesday 25th May, please download the booking form here and return to [email protected]

Floods…. January 6, 2016

Hmmmm …have you ever prattled on and on about something and found that people just don’t listen?

My little bug bear has been the lack of funding that our wonderful Environment Agency gets (or doesn’t get …!)

We gave £6 Billion away in foreign aid last year – that’s the equivalent of £350 million a week – yet in the last couple of years it appears that our budget for dealing with flooding has been reduced.

I’m sorry but wtf?

I can’t help thinking if this were a Southern based problem …say around the London area… perhaps these issues would have been handled differently?

What is it with our prime minister’s that makes them focus on foreign policies whilst ignoring Mr and Mrs Bin Flooded in the North of England? Is it not glamorous enough for them? Does it not grab the headlines or make them more vote worthy.

I feel it’s because ‘we’ (The British)….are so bloody stiff upper lipped?

Have you seen the poor people being interviewed on the telly? Nearly every clip that I saw people were smiling and saying things like … ‘we will be open tomorrow’….or … ‘we’ve been here before and we won’t let it get us down’  ….then the news would cut to some ‘B grade’ actor spouting on about some refugee camp with children on far side of the world who were in trouble.

I’m convinced if these over-paid actors really cared… they should just put their hands in their pockets and hand over a couple of million that they earned from their last film – then  everyone would be ok.

Ewan MacGregor – mate – why not just give the proceeds from one of your films to the charity you keep pushing? Maybe have one less house? One less motorbike or one less Belstaff Jacket?

…but…getting back to the point…why be giving money to some foreign aid issue when people at home own our own bloody doorstep are suffering? I personally have lost circa six thousand pounds worth of damaged machinery to the flooding – and this is nothing at all in comparison with others.

I’m not asking for your donations here by the way – but I am saying that hundreds of businesses will be having severe financial difficulties and probably many will simply cease trading …due to the miss management of funds which could have been better spent on improving our home and business flood defences?

Please, please …can we shout out for the beleaguered Environment Agency to get MORE FUNDING.

Can somebody please point out that our ENVIRONMENT will NOT look after itself.

When we have sorted all of our home issues then – ‘yes’ – I will be happy to help anyone with problems around the world  ….but please can we put our own house in order first?


Mike C – cold and wet and based in the North.