Reported cases of Japanese Knotweed on the rise

Jessica Nangle

February 26, 2020

A live Japanese Knotweed heatmap that launched just twelve months ago has already been populated with almost 52,000 infestations across the UK.

The ‘Exposed: The Japanese Knotweed Heatmap’ created by Environet UK is the most comprehensive live record charting the spread of the UK’s most invasive plant.

The resource is used by property professionals involved in residential transactions to provide a snapshot of the local Japanese Knotweed situation and helps assess the level of risk posed to a property or site.

Over 93,000 postcode searches have been undertaken in Exposed’s first year of operation, whereby users can enter a postcode to discover the number of reported knotweed sightings nearby.

Hotspots are highlighted in yellow or, in the most severe cases, red, with areas such as South Wales, Bristol, Bolton and London amongst the worst affected.

Following recent changes to the wording of the Japanese Knotweed question guidance on the TA6 form completed by property sellers, which will result in higher numbers of ‘unknown’ responses, buyers will be reliant on their own investigations to determine the risk of a property being affected.

Exposed will give them an indication of the extent of the problem in the local area and if a high number of knotweed sightings appear nearby, they may choose to instruct a Japanese Knotweed survey to check the likelihood of the property being affected or at risk of encroachment from infestations in the vicinity.

Nic Seal, founder and managing director of Environet, said: “We’ve had an incredible response to the launch of Exposed, with over 100,000 visits during the first year and 93,000 postcode searches.

“This just goes to show the thirst for information about Japanese Knotweed and the need for credible resources to help property professionals and their clients assess risk during the buying and selling process.

“High risk results should always prompt further investigation with an on-site Japanese Knotweed survey, in order to give the buyer as much certainty as possible.”

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