Sur­vey shows town a knotweed hotspot

Llanelli Star - - NEWS -

LLANELLI has been ranked as among the top two places in Wales with high in­fes­ta­tions of Ja­pa­nese knotweed.

The vil­lage of Capel Gar­mon near Betws-y-Coed in Conwy is the worst af­fected lo­ca­tion with 395 in­fes­ta­tions within a 4km ra­dius, fol­lowed by Llanelli with 380 in­fes­ta­tions.

Swansea and Caer­philly are joint third with 326.

The lower end of the Top 10 sees Pem­brokeshire Na­tional Park with 106 in­fes­ta­tions, New­town in Powys with 80 and Holy­head in Gwynedd with just 54.

De­scribed by the En­vi­ron­ment Agency as “in­dis­putably the UK’s most ag­gres­sive, de­struc­tive and invasive plant”, Ja­pa­nese knotweed grows ram­pantly along rail­ways, wa­ter­ways, in parks and gar­dens and is no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to treat with­out pro­fes­sional help.

En­vi­ronet, which spe­cialises in the re­moval of Ja­pa­nese Knotweed, has mined data from its on­line heatmap called Ex­posed: The Ja­pa­nese Knotweed Heatmap, which records the knotweed sight­ings across the UK.

The map is in­tended to in­form home­own­ers and po­ten­tial home­buy­ers of the pres­ence of Ja­pa­nese knotweed, en­abling them to en­ter a post­code to dis­cover the num­ber of re­ported knotweed sight­ings nearby, with hotspots clearly vis­i­ble in yellow or red.

Nic Seal, founder and manag­ing di­rec­tor of En­vi­ronet, said: “Ja­pa­nese knotweed has be­come a ma­jor prob­lem across Wales, with no­table hotspots around south­ern coastal towns from Llanelli down to Swansea and Brid­gend.

“It is im­pact­ing prop­erty prices, halt­ing sales and caus­ing a huge amount of stress and worry for home­own­ers.

“At times such as this when the prop­erty mar­ket is slow and fewer homes are be­ing bought and sold, it con­tin­ues to spread unchecked. Any­one think­ing about buy­ing a prop­erty in Wales, par­tic­u­larly in these hotspots, would be wise to check the num­ber of in­fes­ta­tions in the prox­im­ity of their post­code and consider in­struct­ing a Ja­pa­nese knotweed sur­vey on the prop­erty.”

En­vi­ronet es­ti­mates that Ja­pa­nese knotweed cur­rently af­fects 4 to 5% of UK prop­er­ties.

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