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Japanese Knotweed

Updated: Jul 16, 2022

January 2018 Update

The Japanese Knotweed at Monks Bay was sprayed when the fence went up. Many thanks for reporting the damage to the fence by the storms, so Bob Edney and team have temporarily taken them down and are monitoring the storms to decide how to proceed. I have asked how the community can help, and he has asked us to keep an eye on the fencing and report any problems.

Japanese Knotweed has popped up in a few places around Bonchurch and in particular at Monks Bay. The BCA thought it would be a good idea to have a few links to various websites that discuss how to deal with the weed and how it may be done without incurring massive costs.

There are also links to photos to show what to look for to identify the weed.

Ps The good news is - its not spread by seed from the flowers, however........

Here are a few very important points when handling the plant.

  • Don’t flail Japanese knotweed as this could cause it to spread. Cutting with sharp hooks, slashers etc. or hand pulling is recommended to avoid any dispersal of cut fragments.

  • Don’t cause the spread of Japanese knotweed stem and crowns. If you cut down Japanese knotweed, it is best to dispose of it on site. Material taken off site is classified as waste and must be safely contained and disposed of at a licensed disposal site.

  • Don’t try to dig up Japanese knotweed as this will lead to a significant increase in stem density. Even a tiny fragment of the cut rhizome is capable of regeneration.

  • Don’t spread soil contaminated with Japanese knotweed rhizome. Any soil that is obtained from ground within 7 m horizontally and 3 m deep of a Japanese knotweed plant could contain rhizome. The rhizome is highly regenerative and will readily grow into new plants.

  • Don’t chip Japanese knotweed material. Mechanical chippers don’t kill Japanese knotweed. If you spread the chipped material on soil, Japanese knotweed could regrow.

  • Don’t dump garden waste contaminated with Japanese knotweed in the countryside – you will be breaking the law.

  • Don’t add Japanese knotweed to compost. Compost it separately (preferably on plastic sheeting to prevent rooting) so that you can be sure it is dead.

  • Don’t take Japanese knotweed to recycling centres that receive garden waste as it will contaminate the compost.

  • Don’t break the law. Remember, if you cause Japanese knotweed to spread you are guilty of an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981

  • Important Links to sites on how to manage Japanese Knotweed

Here are some useful links. It is worth reading them all, as they are all very helpful in understanding how to manage Japanese Knotweed.If the links don’t open automatically when you press them, you will need to copy and paste.

Identification and factsheet - Non-Native Species Secretariat

Natural Enterprise - Plant Positive Project

-Scroll down the page to the section on Japanese Knotweed and at the bottom click on Download the Plant Positive

'Japanese knotweed – guide to best practice resource’

Guidance for Identification and Control - Cornwall Council Guidance for identification and control

Guidance on Japanese Knotweed - Environment Agency

Photos - with many thanks to Liz Gorsky

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