A national Japanese Knotweed heatmap has identified 32 infestations of the UK’s most invasive plant within 4km of Hastings town centre.
The fast growing invader, which can have a drastic affect on property prices, has also been identified in Bexhill according to specialists.
A knotweed tracking tool, called Exposed, has been developed by Environet, a leading specialist in the removal of Japanese knotweed.
It is designed to inform homeowners and potential homebuyers of the local presence of knotweed and the potential risk to their property and allows members of the public to enter a postcode to discover the number of reported knotweed sightings nearby.
Knotweed hotspots are clearly visible in yellow or red.
Described by the Environment Agency as “indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant”, Japanese knotweed’s rapid spread across the UK has prompted a Parliamentary Inquiry into its impact on the built environment, which is expected to release its findings this spring.
Japanese Knotweed was originally imported to Britain by Victorian botanists who admired its white flowers, but once planted it spreads vigorously and grows to up to three metres in height. Its roots can udermine properties and it is extremely difficult to kill, being resistant to normal weedkillers.
Where a high number of knotweed sightings appear nearby, potential homebuyers may wish to instruct a Japanese knotweed survey to check the likelihood of the property they intend to buy being affected or at risk of encroachment from infestations in the vicinity.
It is actually an offence to plant Japanese knotweed and there are strict controls on its disposal.
The plant is classed as ‘controlled waste’ under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires disposal at licensed landfill sites. On no account should Japanese knotweed be included with normal household waste or put out in green waste collection schemes.
Nic Seal, Founder of Environet, who created Exposed, said: “There are a number of knotweed infestations around East Sussex, particularly in coastal locations such as Hastings and Bexhill.
You can find the heatmap tool at https://environetuk.com/exposed-japanese-knotweed-heat-map.