Garden warning: Japanese knotweed UK hotspots exposed as plant enters next growth phase

Timelapse shows alarming rate Japanese Knotweed grows at

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Japanese knotweed can costs thousands to remove and can even devalue a property if left untreated. Most mortgage providers are likely to avoid lending on a property that has Japanese knotweed. The dangerous weed can grow through concrete and create costly cracks in brickwork and patios.

Getting rid of the plant is no easy task either, with removal costing upwards of £10,000.

Japanese knotweed experts Environet have shared the top ten areas in the UK that have the most outbreaks of the plant.

The online tracker, Exposed: the Japanese Knotweed Heatmap, has revealed over 54,000 known infestations of the weed.

The map shows how the plant has worked its way across the UK and allows homeowners to be aware of where it is in the local vicinity.

To double check how much knotweed is in your area, you can enter your postcode to check sightings nearby.

Major occurrences are highlighted in red or yellow.

So where are the worst outbreaks of Japanese knotweed in the UK?

Bolton in Greater Manchester has a whopping 621 infestations within 4km radius, according to Exposed.

This is followed by Bristol, St Helens in Merseyside, Cardiff in South Wales and Blackburn in Lancashire.

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Llanelli and Swansea in South Wales also have over 350 infestations each.

Rotherham in South Yorkshire, Shepherd’s Bush, West London and Nottingham rank in eighth, ninth and tenth place on the list.

Nic Seal, Founder and MD of Environet said: “Knowledge is power when it comes to Japanese knotweed and this heatmap is invaluable to homeowners and buyers who want to assess the risk in their local area.

“With the stamp duty holiday extended and lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, the property market is busier than ever – but failing to carry out the appropriate checks for knotweed can turn out to be an expensive mistake.

“Despite its fearsome reputation, with professional help, the plant can be dealt with and the value of a property largely restored.

“I’d urge anyone buying or selling a property, or homeowners wishing to preserve the value of their home, to be vigilant for signs of spring growth and check Exposed to see whether they live in a high-risk area.”

In the winter, Japanese knotweed appears to die away, but this is not the case.

Around this time of year, the plant begins to shoot back up and may grow to be over seven foot tall.

The tell-tale signs of Japanese knotweed are purple or red asparagus-like shoots emerging from the ground rapidly.

They will also have green shrubs on them with heart-shaped leaves and pink-fleshed stems.

With around five percent of homes currently affected by Japanese knotweed, this knocks a whopping £20billion off UK house prices.

Property owners who fail to stop the spread of knotweed on their land can face fines and even a jail sentence under ASBO legislation.

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