Survey shows town a knotweed hotspot
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.