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New map reveals scale of Wales’ Japanese knotweed problem – check your own area

13 May 2022 2 minutes Read
Wales heat map by Environet. Japanese knotweed picture by Robin Stott (CC BY-SA 2.0).

A new interactive map has revealed the scale of Wales’ Japanese knotweed problem.

The fast-growing invasive species, brought to the UK in the 1850s, has now spread across Wales and costs millions each year to dispose of.

Now a new heat map produced by Environet has mapped some of the worst hotspots, revealing that whole swathes of Wales are infested.

Wales also has there of the top 10 Japanese knotweed hotspots in the UK nations – Capel Garmon in Conwy, Cardiff, and Llanelli.

You can check your own area here.

Wales heat map by Environet.

The single worst town affected in all of the UK nations was Bolton in Greater Manchester.

Nic Seal, managing director of Environet, said that a “defeatist attitude” to the species was to blame for its increased prevalence in Wales, with the belief that it has spread so rapidly that it was no longer feasible to combat it.

“There is also a lot of it in Wales and I think the reason for this is that for many, many years, the attitude was, ‘well, there’s so much around that there’s nothing we can do about it,'” he told the Telegraph newspaper.

“Also because land values are quite low in the area there’s no financial incentive to fully excavate it as opposed to just using herbicides to keep it under control.”


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Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

It’s not a “defeatist attitude”. It’s expensive to eradicate and we have other hands dipping into our budgets. Another abomination is the stinking pink weed with ballistic pollen, Himalayan Balsam. (Which ironically can out-compete knotweed). Then there’s bracken, hogweed, those ugly pine forests, etc etc etc
The disUnited Kingdom is home to a huge number of invasive species (no I am not talking about Anglos for once). This is just one of them.

Sion Tomos
Sion Tomos
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

Bracken is native and is a sign of good quality earth where there used to be woodland.

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

It’s going the way of the grey squirrel and will eventually be reclassified as (neo-) native.

I suspect that the only certain way of dealing with jkw is to remove the soil with the plant, and sterilise the bejeezus out of it. We never found a good solution to the squirrel problem either and ended up just mumbling something about it not being a problem.

Last edited 1 month ago by defaid
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
Gareth Cemlyn Jones
1 month ago

Wales does seem to have more than it’s share of ‘invasive species’!!

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

I’m amazed that for years no-one seems to have asked the Japanese & that they regard it as a delicacy. They eat the new shoots which apparently taste something like Rhubarb but nicer. Instead of poisoning it all these years we could have been eating it.
If you keep cutting it off out ground level so no leaves can open to photosynthesise & feed the roots, eventually the roots are exhausted. Takes about 15 years tho…

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