Who the hell does Mike Clough think he is?
Let me start by telling you who I’m not. I’m not a landscaper, I don’t do maintenance, I’m not part of an environmental group and I don’t run a construction company. I’m often referred to as, ‘the Japanese Knotweed bloke’ and my goals can be described as education and eradication of anything to do with Japanese Knotweed and invasive species in general.
I’ve had a lifelong interest and passion for the environment. Following qualification as a landscape architect at Leeds Metropolitan University in 1980, I became involved with the Garden Festival movement designing children's play areas at the Liverpool and Stoke Garden Festivals. This work led to award winning children’s play area designs throughout the rest of the UK and the formation of my first company, Landmark.
From the projects that the Landmark team completed, I became increasingly aware of the dramatic spread of invasive weeds – in particular Japanese Knotweed – eventually deciding to turn my attentions solely to the issues surrounding this most aggressive of invaders. Japanese Knotweed Solutions Limited was formed in 2002 and the rest, as they say, is history.
But it’s a story that’s far from over. I spend much of my time travelling around the UK educating groups as diverse as local authorities, construction companies and environmental associations about the scale of the Japanese Knotweed problem, how it spreads and how it can be stopped.
Aside from education, my other passion is eradication. I have built JKSL to be the number one service provider within the Invasive Weeds market. Alongside my excellent team, we provide identification and in-house eradication of non-native species, with all works covered by a ten-year insurance backed warranty, which is unique to the market.
It never fails to amaze me that there is little or no organised strategy in place to protect our native species from the onslaught of Japanese Knotweed and other invasive species. It is my aim to raise public awareness over the issues of invasive species and to be seen as a trusted public figure, challenging the current attitudes and strategies of invasive weed management.