UK government gives up the fight against Japanese knotweed

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Japanese knotweed has become such an overwhelming nuisance that the UK government has thrown in the towel with regards to a nationwide eradication programme.

The invasive weed is now so prevalent that it is impossible to find a six-mile square section of the UK mainland that doesn’t contain traces of Japanese knotweed.

Why has the government given up on tackling such a pernicious plant? Read on to find out...

Admitting defeat

George Eustice, a minister for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), has said "There are no plans to attempt a national eradication because the cost would be prohibitively expensive and likely to be unsuccessful given the widespread distribution of the species."

Mr Eustice also said that annual costs for knotweed eradication could run at as much as “£1.5 billion.”

DEFRA have attempted to cull Japanese knotweed before by releasing a group of knotweed eating insects called psyllids into the UK. Unfortunately, these insects, that naturally control knotweed in their native Japan, could not acclimatise to the British weather and struggled to survive long enough to make any lasting impact.

Mr Eustice said: “To date research has not shown significant or sustainable impacts, because only small populations of the psyllid have survived in the wild.”

Despite giving up on treating Japanese knotweed the government still has strict Japanese knotweed legislation which can result in fines and even jail time for those who flaunt it. 

Japanese knotweed contractors leading the way

With the government raising a white flag of surrender to Japanese knotweed, independent contractors such as Wise Knotweed Solutions have taken the responsibility of thwarting this invasive menace.

Contractors like Wise are rated and approved by governing bodies such as the Property Care Association, Trust Mark, Safe Contractor and Constructionline. These regulatory bodies make sure that contractors are capable of delivering a high standard of Japanese knotweed treatment and solid, reliable, Japanese knotweed guarantees.

Do you need help with Japanese knotweed?

If you want find out more about Japanese knotweed you can download our Japanese knotweed information pack. This pack answers questions on Japanese knotweed, how it can affect mortgages and how it is treated.

Alternatively, you can call us on 0808 231 9218 or use our online contact form. Simply fill in your details and a local knotweed expert will get back to you.

Find out more about Japanese knotweed