Knotweed News

It’s taking over…

Author: Mike Clough

Date Posted: Wednesday 10th August 2016

I’ve got to a stage in my life where I’m becoming a real adult, you know what I mean… not the ‘I’m 18 mum, I can do what I want’ type of adult but the ‘I have a car and a house and bills to pay’ kind of adult.

I started working at JKSL in November 2015 and since then I feel like invasive species are taking over my life, literally.

Before starting my journey at JKSL I had no knowledge at all about any kind of plant species, except of course, daisy’s, tulips, roses, buttercups… the kind everyone knows at least a little bit about. I started to learn more and more about non-native invasive species and native invasive species, as I started #Tuesdaychallenge (shameless plug- if you’re not involved already tune in every Tuesday on Twitter @JKSLtd) on JKSL social media I learned more about different flora and fauna- see what I mean, I’m even using the ‘lingo’ now.

In March, I bought a house -this is one of the ‘adult’ things I was referring to- before working at JKSL my main concern when viewing properties would have been along the lines of… are the kitchen cupboards the right colour… is there a good Feng Shui…  has the bedroom got adequate natural lighting etc. etc… still very important factors, obviously. However, this time I was looking in the garden for Japanese Knotweed. Followed by a quick inspection of the neighbouring properties gardens. I even had a wander on to the field at the rear of the property just to triple check there were no signs of invasive species in the area. The only thing I could find was Montbretia, hardly a deal breaker.

My father was recently looking at a property just outside of Bolton, I had a little nosey on Rightmove (as you do) and immediately called him to raise his awareness of the Himalayan Balsam taking over the rather large garden. I found myself explaining to him that hand pulling of the Balsam is a laborious but effective control method as long as it is undertaken before the plants flower. I didn’t get much of a response to what I thought was rather useful knowledge.

My Boyfriend is becoming increasingly irritated with me… while out in the car I have taken to play a game I like to call ‘Spot the invasive’* it usually goes something like…

Holly, ‘Oooooo, can you see what I can see’

Boyfriend, ‘Wait… what?’

Holly, ‘Can you see that there, with the purple flowers? We saw this particular species last week… do you remember it’s name?’

Boyfriend, ‘FOR GODS SAKE HOLLY, I’ve not a clue, I wasn’t even listening!’

Holly, ‘It’s Buddleja of course, how can you forget about that one….’

I’m sorry Dave.

On the way to the airport with my family last week, you would think we were too excited for our jolly holidays to be on the invasive species look out, however, my mother (whom also works for JKSL, hi Ann if you reading this) proceeded to point out to the rest of the family the Fools Parsley and Ragwort that was growing in the grass verges next to the motorway. Subsequently, as you probably guessed, no one cared.

You get the idea anyway. Invasive species not only invade our soil but also our minds.


Holly Knowles

*P.S I think I’m onto something ‘Spot the invasive’… perhaps a new Twitter game, what do you think Mike? Suzanne?

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Mike Clough

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