Wish You Weren’t Here…… August 26, 2020

“Japanese knotweed – I wish you weren’t here”, is an easy enough statement to make… but actually doing something about it takes a little more focus.

It is said that at a moment in time about thirty or so years ago, there was a movement afoot within the Environment Agency (EA) where there was a suggestion that Japanese knotweed should be tackled ….as it was in danger of becoming ‘problematic’.

At that particular moment the member of the team that had raised this point was told that budgets were being stretched and there was ‘no available funding’ to deal with what was only a ‘minor’ problem.

Now at this point in time it is also said that Japanese knotweed could have been… eradicated.

Yes – eradicated.

The EA could have tackled the beast and kicked it from our shores forever.

Infestations were limited, they were ‘manageable’ and could have been targeted and removed before their unstoppable march for global domination began.

This opportunity was missed and history will show that this was a serious error in judgement.

Japanese knotweed blocks watercourses, reduces capacity of water channels and increases flood risk, it damages property, it reduces land value, it grows to the preclusion of all of our native species, it blights huge areas of development land, it reduces the amenity value of our open spaces, it encourages rat populations…the list just goes on and on.

The removal of the plant costs local authorities, developers and home owners hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and causes stress and upset to the people on which it impacts.

Maybe lessons could be learned.

Maybe lessons for each of us individually – spotting a new infestation of knotweed and dealing with it promptly won’t save the entire planet ….but maybe it will at least save a small piece of land that would otherwise be overrun by this invasive monster of a plant.

A small infestation is a damn site easier to deal with than a mature stand of this plant.

Open your eyes.

Take note of what’s happening in your immediate environment.

Do something about it.


Mike C


Definitely maybe … August 19, 2020

Ever got your Knotweed mixed up with your Balsam, or your Buttercup mixed with your Ragwort…?

It can be a painful experience, particularly if one of these plants is a problem plant and the other is just a plant in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We were recently asked for a comparable price for works to remove Japanese knotweed rhizome by an elderly lady in West Yorkshire. She had been quoted £35,000 to excavate and remove Knotweed roots from her land …and thought maybe this was a little pricey.

On visiting her property, we advised that the plant in question was actually a small growth of sycamore, which did not merit the 3 meters deep and 7 meters in all directions quoted by her contractor.

This a situation being repeated throughout the country by unscrupulous contractors after making a quick few quid.

Many ‘Knotweed contractors’ come from a background in sales, be it double-glazing or automotive …and very few have any horticultural experience.

To be quite honest, they’ve jumped on a band wagon and think they can make a few quid before moving on to the next ‘in thing’. They offer ten year in-house warranties ‘free of charge’ because they know they won’t still be trading in ten years …so why bother worrying about the implications of warranty claims.

Japanese Knotweed Solutions was set up by me. I’m a qualified landscape architect. I love plants and I love the environment. I was the first person to set up a company solely dealing with Japanese knotweed and I continue to stand at the forefront of a quality-controlled and regulated service.

When employing your Knotweed contractor, check they are a member of one of the two trade bodies, either INNSA or the cheaper less regulated PCA…then maybe check they know their Knotweed from their Balsams …

Then maybe check they know their arse from a hole in the ground.

Then give us a call.


Mike C

Plant from Hell August 12, 2020

So… I’m thinking if you we’re a little native plant …then Japanese knotweed would be your COVID 19.

There you are just growing away trying your hardest to be the best little plant you can be…when suddenly some big bloody alien plant …that shouldn’t be here in the first place shows up … and kicks your ass.

It grows in your space.

It puts roots in between your roots.

It drinks your water.

It poisons your soil.

It takes your sunlight.

Then …it kills you.

Can we please therefore have a shout up for a lockdown on alien species?

Can we socially distance the alien plants and just stop them dead in their tracks? How about we just stay 2 meters away from the bloody things?

Let’s lock down river corridors and stop these plants from spreading. Let’s antibacterial wash our boots when we’ve been fishing and clean all our equipment*…

Let’s contain the spread and whack a mole these unwelcome visitors from our shores.

I’m not sure they’ve all come from Wuhan …but there’s definitely some similarities.


Mike C

note: your ‘equipment’ should always be washed after use ????

Get a Dog August 5, 2020

Some of you may remember me getting a miniature dachshund about 9 months ago and my describing the chaos that ensued.

To give you an update, she is now my best mate, my ‘go to’ when I’m stressed and my entertainment from the moment I wake to the moment we argue about going to bed.

She greets me in the morning with an uncontrolled wiggle of delight and we start the day with the game of how many times can dad say – ‘have a wee wee’ …before she actually concedes and does the deed. After me saying it about 24 times I’m so desperate to go that it becomes a close call for me to get back in the house and go to the loo without having an accident.

We then go and look at her food bowl which has been refilled… but she needs a ‘treat’ before she eats breakfast. I’ve tried telling her that this is bad for her diet but …unless she gets that tiny bone shaped fishy thing …she will not touch her healthy breakfast …I’m pretty sure if I could read her mind, she’d be saying … ‘dems de rules, human …’

She has been an absolute godsend during lockdown, encouraging walking and playing and chasing …and a non-stop riot of movement throughout the day. She is enthusiastic about everything, never tires …and most of all never has a moody day.

For those of you in two minds about getting a dog –

Best thing I ever did.


Mike C

*obviously this is a massive commitment so don’t get a dog unless you really are prepared to put the hours in and give the dog your full attention 24/7.


Remember, a dog is for life …not just for COVID.