Having been established in the Japanese knotweed and invasive weed industry for over 16 years, it is quite apparent that there is a tendency towards a ‘reactive’ nature when it comes to treating problems plants.
More often than not, invasive plants, particularly Japanese knotweed, only get acknowledged when landowners decide to sell or develop the site. Had they recognised the problem from the offset (which could have been years ago when they acquired the site), before the plant becomes more established and widespread, treatment costs wouldn’t be quite so high and more treatment options could be available to them.
Invasive weeds not only hinder development sites, reduce land values and come with an array of legislation, but they can also cause serious environmental issues – they can exacerbate flooding, outgrow native flora and fauna having detrimental effects on biodiversity and natural ecosystems.
Although the best prevention efforts cannot stop all invasive species, Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) is certainly beneficial to any landowner, whether they have 1 acre or 10,000 acres. Identifying and treating any invasive weeds can prevent them from becoming established in the first place, have many ecological benefits and save landowners costs in the long run.
The estimated total cost of eradicating invasive non-native species in the UK is estimated to be £1.7 billion. With Japanese knotweed alone costing the British economy an estimated £166 million per year (Williams et al, 2010). Now, 8 years later, we can only assume that these costs are only going to continue to increase unless we take a proactive approach to protect our land.
JKSL monitor a number of land banks across the UK. Regular surveying of sites, annual or even biennial, can help safeguard against invasive species becoming established on your site. Whether its Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, Giant hogweed, Ragwort, Rhododendron, Japanese rose to mention but a few, do you know which species you have on your site?
If you are interested in monitoring your sites to keep them invasive free, please get in touch on 0161 723 2000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.