Knotweed not a storm prob­lem, says coun­cil

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

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.

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The front green was cov­ered with sea­weed.

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