Japanese knotweed has been a menace to businesses, homes and land owners across the UK, increasing the need for more accountability and legal guidelines surrounding its containment. The naturally occurring weed spreads fast, with the help of pervasive underground rhizomes that are capable of damaging concrete and tarmac and sucking the life from surrounding vegetation.
Various legal implications have been put in place to control the spread of Japanese knotweed. If the plant is found to be growing on your land, it’s important to be aware of these consequences, to understand what the scope of your responsibility and what it entails.
While it’s not against the law for Japanese knotweed to be growing on your property, you are responsible for preventing its spread to the surrounding land. Although regulating bodies such as the Environment Agency may not intervene, neighbours should consult one another to arrive at an agreement on how to best manage the growing Japanese knotweed within their vicinity. This agreement should be the first step, and the basis of any legal action, should the weed spread to the wild and affect the environment. There is a limit as to how much knotweed waste a neighbour may dump in their compound. The Environmental Protection Agency regulations (EPA) have made it illegal to dump controlled material on private land.