Ten Years into the Future....June 21st 2017
So let’s time travel ahead by ten years or so ...(cue weird dream sequence music) .....what's going to be going on in the world of invasive non-native species in the UK?
One of the problems with my JKSL business 'model' is that I am engaged in eradicating the source of my income. People have often joked ... ' bet you go round planting it ...ha ha ha' ...this has never been something that we have needed to do - simply because there is so much of the bloody stuff that we haven't needed to ....
However, there are now loads of Japanese knotweed eradicating companies operating in the UK - which simply by logistics - means there simply must be a reduction in the amount of knotweed available to be treated??
So maybe ten years into the future - all the knotweed in the UK will have been dealt with...?? This is an unlikely scenario as much of the Japanese knotweed growth is in land on which there will be no funding for treatment - river frontages, local authority land, waste ground, brownfield sites ...all of which would require eradication strategies but without development or some other funding nothing will be done to reduce the problem. If Knotweed continues to grow on rivers and waste ground - simple understanding of the rapidity of growth would suggest that problems will still occur as they do now.
There are various bio-control strategies currently being implemented, will these have had a dramatic impact?? Ten years into the future the psyllid should be well established by now and a new pathogen being worked on by CABI (due to be approved shortly) should have made an impact?? Neither of these strategies would 'eradicate' Japanese knotweed but should slow the growth and make the plant more manageable.
Maybe, all the Japanese knotweed will have been targeted and will be struggling to survive ...but some 'other' as yet unidentified plant will have stepped into the JK role?? Daft as this may sound, many people who have a JK problem will happily spray, eradicate, burn destroy knotweed ....without the giving the faintest thought to - 'what's going to grow in its place' or 'what should we be doing to re-plant this area'... we always recommend trying to establish a native sward on areas that have been cleared of JK.
Will the attitude of government or the various government bodies (DEFRA/Environment Agency) have changed?? This will all come down to money? Maybe the imminent exit from Europe will impact in funding?? This could go either way - I’m thinking there will probably be less funding available for invasive species management from what I've read.
Will people's attitude to invasive species management have changed? I'm thinking that globally this must be seen as a high priority. Currently the world’s resources are already under pressure - we must find ways to produce more food from less available land as the population increases. What we cannot allow to happen is an invasive species to devastate crops and reduce the productivity of land on which food is being grown...
Maybe more emphasis will be placed on invasive species management that impacts on reducing loss of life rather than loss of amenity...???
Anyway, whatever happens - hopefully - in ten years’ time I will have retired and will be writing a book titled...'How to be a success in business whilst driving fast cars and p***ing people off'