Lyme Regis the Japanese knotweed hotspot in Dorset

LYME Regis has been revealed as the hot spot for Dorset Japanese knotweed.

As the UK’s most invasive plant enters its spring growth phase, Japanese knotweed expert Environet has revealed the latest hot spots using data from its interactive online tracker, Talk: the heat map of Japanese knotweed.

With over 54,000 known Japanese knotweed infestations, which traces the plant’s spread across the UK, Exposed is advising homeowners and potential buyers of the local presence of Japanese knotweed and the potential risk to their property.

Users can enter a zip code to find the number of reported knotweed sightings nearby, with hot spots highlighted in yellow or red.

In Dorset, the Japanese knotweed hotspots for 2021 are Lyme Regis, with 29 infestations within a 4 km radius; Dorchester with 21; Christchurch with 20; and Weymouth and Poole, both with 17.

After its winter hibernation, knotweed begins to grow in March or April, depending on local soil temperature, reaching up to three meters in height by mid-summer.

Homeowners spending more time in their gardens this spring may notice purple or red asparagus-like shoots emerging from the ground and quickly developing into lush green shrubs with heart-shaped or shovel-shaped leaves and rose-speckled stems. .

Growing through cracks in concrete, driveways, patios, paths, drains, and even cavity walls in our homes, Japanese knotweed can reduce a property’s value by 10% and make it difficult to sell, sell, or sell. Unless a professional treatment plan is in place with an insurance backed guarantee to satisfy mortgage lenders.

Around 5% of homes are currently affected, either directly or indirectly (near an affected property), according to Environet research, causing around £ 20bn in UK house prices to drop.

The general public can help in the fight against knotweed by reporting suspicious plants using the heat map’s ‘Add Observation’ feature and attaching a photo for expert review.

Emily Grant, Environet’s regional manager for Dorset, said: “Knowledge is power when it comes to Japanese knotweed and this heat map is invaluable to homeowners and buyers who wish to assess the risk in their business. region.

“With the extension of the stamp duty holiday and the start of foreclosure restrictions, the real estate market is busier than ever – but not carrying out the proper checks for knotweed can be a costly mistake.

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

“I 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 to check Exposed to see if they live in an area with high risk.”

Japanese knotweed facts

  • Japanese knotweed arrived in the UK in the 1840s, in box number 34 of 40 Chinese and Japanese plant species delivered to Kew Gardens
  • Knotweed grows at an incredible rate of about 10 cm per day from May to July
  • When fully developed, it can grow up to three meters tall
  • Around £ 166million is spent annually to process the plant in the UK
  • Government estimates it would cost £ 1.5bn to rid UK of knotweed
  • Japanese knotweed can remain dormant but alive underground for up to 20 years
  • Sniffer dogs now help with knotweed, detecting the unique scent of its rhizome under the ground
  • Homeowners who fail to stop the spread of knotweed on their land can face fines and even jail time under ASBO legislation.

To view Japanese knotweed infestations in your area or to report a sighting, visit: environetuk.com/exposed-japanese-knotweed-heat-map


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