It’s a plant… not a sales target.

Have you ever responded to a request for help on ‘Linked In’?

If you haven’t – then don’t.

It’s opening a door to a whole load of crap that you just don’t need.

It starts off ok…. ‘Can anyone recommend a Japanese knotweed expert?’ Then one of my trusted contacts thinks they will help this person by recommending Japanese Knotweed Solutions’ or often they will simply say ‘speak to Mike Clough.’

As I say – this then starts to snowball – as everybody and his best friend think they know something about Japanese knotweed because they once ‘read an article’. Everybody has an opinion and most of it is absolute balls. Multiple companies with copied names and copied websites appear and all claim to have a ‘secret method’ of eradicating the ‘plant from hell’. Many of them claim knowledge of laws – then suggest huge fines and prison sentences for just having the plant on your land…

Aarrrggghhhhh ffs.

My favourite recently was a gentleman who started his comment… ‘well I know nothing about JK …but I believe that you can’t kill the plant… and anyone that says they can is a liar’… I think we maybe can dismiss this guy because as he admits he ‘knows nothing’.

The problem with the internet is that anyone can call themselves an expert. I’ve lost track for the number of Japanese knotweed ‘experts’ whose websites state they are the ‘number one service provider’ or the ‘UK’s first knotweed company’.

I know they are talking bollox …but anybody reading these claims would be hard put to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’ …as my father would say.

However dear reader – I do have a way of separating out the sales people from the horticulturalists.

Just check out the ‘Linked In’ feed of the people that go on to offer their services on these e-mail chains which appear after a request for help.

Check out the history of the person claiming to be a ‘knotweed know all.’ let me suggest to you that somebody with ten years in double glazing is NOT a knotweed expert. Let me suggest that somebody with fifteen years in the automotive industry doesn’t know anything about plants. Somebody that’s been in IT or teaching or retail isn’t going to know anything about plant growth or associated plant groups that live in association with invasive species.

Do you really want to deal with somebody who only knows one goddamn plant …?

OK they can identify Japanese knotweed but what about everything else on site? What about the nearby bluebell woodland or the shallow rooted beech trees nearby. What of the orchids or the rare cowslip that’s been seen downstream of your spray area that you’ve just recommended… even though everything downwind will die…?

Please if you’re going to get an expert in Japanese knotweed get somebody with environmental credentials. Some horticultural knowledge and a basic understanding of how flora and fauna work together.

Please let’s not destroy the environment just because somebody has a good sales patter that they learnt from selling life insurance.

Mike C


0161 723 2000