Why is there a Knotweed Industry?April 29th 2015
What a silly question I hear you ask, obviously Japanese Knotweed is a problem plant....herefore....there was a requirement for ‘knotweed services’ to appear within Google and the Yellow Pages.
Well that isn’t quite true is it?
Ragwort is a problem plant but there aren’t suddenly hundreds of Ragwort contractors? Giant Hogweed is a problem plant but there aren’t any companies just dealing with Giant Hogweed...yet every day there appears to be a new company on Google who are the.... ‘UK experts in eradication of Japanese Knotweed’... so why is this????
There has been a lot of television coverage and one or two high profile newspaper articles (‘man kills wife, blames Japanese Knotweed’...’mortgage refused due to Japanese Knotweed’ etc etc...but none of these explain why there is an industry scrabbling over every knotweed job that comes up..?
Could it be the ‘shock horror’ tactics of some of these press articles? When you read much of the UK press coverage it centres on houses being demolished, foundations crumbling and your house being made worthless…
Perhaps it’s something to do with the current economy? Many of the ‘new experts’ in Japanese Knotweed have come from a background in damp proofing and timber preserving – looking to find another income stream during the difficult current financial climate. One particular Scottish based ‘knotweed specialist’ didn’t even know what the plant looked like…then six weeks later was on BBC radio saying he was the UK ‘expert’...!
All interesting theories but none really explains why there is an industry dedicated to this troublesome plant?
The answer I think lies in the legislation that surrounds Japanese Knotweed – namely the Environment Agencies – ‘Code of Practice for Managing Japanese knotweed on Development Sites (version 3, amended in 2013)’. This document clearly sets out the parameters under which Japanese Knotweed should be treated and the serious implications and the potentially heavy fines and possible imprisonment for people that flout the legislation.
If you combine this with the press stories you have a fairly strong case for not ignoring Japanese Knotweed.....so if a plant can stop construction dead in its tracks…then there is bound to be an industry that steps up to resolve the issues caused.
My problem is that half of these new companies haven’t got a clue what Japanese Knotweed is – let alone what it is capable of or even how to tackle it professionally...so whilst there may be an ’industry’ and there may be loads of ‘Japanese Knotweed Experts’ ...there is only ONE Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd!