Knotweed not a storm problem, says council
Seaweed washed up over Lochgilphead front green during Storm Diana could be cleared after council officials concluded an invasive weed present among the trash was no threat.
Fragments of Japanese knotweed were tangled among the marine debris washed up by high tides on Wednesday November 28 and there were fears it would need to be disposed of carefully, given the invasive nature of this scheduled weed species.
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said initially: ‘We are taking advice on whether or not the Japanese knotweed requires any special disposal. Once that is clear, and as soon as we have staff available, all the debris will be disposed of appropriately.’
By Tuesday December 4 a council spokesperson confirmed that ‘the advice was the Japanese knotweed has been given the all-clear and poses no environmental threat’.
Japanese knotweed was introduced to the UK in the mid 19th century as a decorative plant and has since become widespread in the wild, particularly around waterways.
The plant spreads rapidly. In winter, it dies back to ground level but by early summer the bamboo-like stems emerge from deep underground to shoot to more than seven feet tall, suppressing all other plant growth. It is very hard to remove by hand or eradicate with chemicals and there are strict controls on its disposal.
Under Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to cause Japanese knotweed to grow in the wild.
The front green was covered with seaweed.