Noise and nuisance
Japanese knotweed (fallopia japonica) is a perennial invasive plant. it is a problem because:
- It spreads easily via rhizomes and cut stems or crowns; it thrives on disturbance and the tiniest piece can re-grow.
- It is difficult and to control or eradicate.
- It can cause structural damage to buildings.
Japanese knotweed is listed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as a plant that is not to be planted or otherwise introduced into the wild. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 also lists it as 'controlled waste' to be disposed of properly. There is a legal obligation not to cause it to spread if it occurs on your land.
If you have Japanese knotweed on your land you may be causing a private nuisance to surrounding properties. You should control the Japanese knotweed to prevent further spreading.
An amendment to the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 includes invasive non-native plants including Japanese knotweed. Here are some key points for how this affects the homeowner:
- It is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed in your garden, but on your property you should aim to control this invasive non-native plant to prevent it becoming a problem in your neighbourhood. If it has a "detrimental effect of a persistent or continuing nature on the quality of life of those in the locality", the legislation could be used to enforce its control and property owners may be prosecuted
- Where problems with Japanese knotweed occur in neighbouring gardens, we suggest that you speak or correspond directly with your neighbours (who may already be taking action to control this difficult weed). These informal steps should ideally be taken before contacting the environment team to talk about action under the legislation
- Homeowners can consider control themselves for a small, isolated clump. However, a specialist professional company will be skilled at control, ensure eradication and can dispose of the plant waste at licenced landfill sites
For more information see The Environment Agency Information Note: Japanese knotweed.