Beware The Enemy Within


The property market is not the only thing flourishing in SK4, there is an alien species in the area and beware it likes to eat buildings.

This species is called Japanese Knotweed.  What I can tell you is that it is now prolific throughout the UK and there are serious implications for property owners.

The ‘plant’ was brought over from Japan in the 19th century and was regarded as an attractive addition to gardens with its pretty pink and white flowers but its root system runs up to 3 meters deep underground and spreads as far as 7 meters.  At the base of the roots are pod systems called rhizomes and they along with nodes on the bamboo like structures that come out of the ground help the weed germinate.  As they grow they will climb up cavities in buildings and through floors causing severe structural problems.  Handled by inexperienced people it will spread on the site and quickly contaminate ground elsewhere.

Heaton Mersey Common has one of the boroughs worst outbreaks of Japanese Knotweed even though treatment programmes have been started.  And this is the nub of it, it’s a 5 year programme by a licenced operator to eradicate.  So seriously is it taken by lenders that they won’t lend money on a property that is affected without evidence of this programme being in underway.  Unlicensed operators who wilfully allow the weed to spread also infringe environmental laws and can be fined up to £5000 with a potential jail sentence.

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