It seems Japanese Knotweed is becoming a major problem in the UK, especially for homeowners who find it nearby.
Banks are avoiding lending to homes that have it near their gardens or property, and now Swansea University scientists are conducting the largest field trial in Europe to find new ways of killing it.
What is Japanese Knotweed?
The Japanese Knotweed plant is a tough, hard wearing weed that evolved to survive on the volcanic slopes of Japan. The plant was first brought to England in the 19th century by botanists who had no idea of the potential damage the plant could do to the UK countryside.
The plant grows very quickly and is not easy to kill off, chop it down and it grows back aggressively. Digging the root out also comes with problems. The root can grow to a huge depth of around three metres and even if you dig it up, the root and the surrounding soil is now labelled as contaminated waste and can only be removed to a licensed landfill.
In 2014 the government said that anyone who failed to control the spread of Japanese Knotweed could face an anti social behaviour order and could be fined. The new rules could see an individual fined up to £2,500 and a business up to £20,000.