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Japanese knotweed spreading in Wolverhampton, claims councillor

Dudley | News | Published:

Aggressive superweed Japanese knotweed is on the rise, a councillor has said.

Residents in Wolverhampton were warned to be aware of the plant and to understand their duties in removing it by councillor John Rowley, who said that there had been an increase in complaints.

The invasive plant can block footpaths and damage concrete, tarmac, flood defences and even the stability of river banks. It can even find its way through floorboards and through the foundations of houses.

"I have had two complaints from people in my Blakenhall ward in recent days about Japanese Knotweed," he said.

"People need to be really careful about it because it is very aggressive and can even undermine buildings.

"I can't believe this would be confined to the Blakenhall ward."

He said some residents in Goldthorn Hill had contacted him.

Councillor Rowley added: "I am concerned about this.

"It's very easy to recognise once you know what it looks like but it can look quite pretty so I'm not too surprised that some people do not realise the dangers it can cause."

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Local authorities have no legal obligation to remove Japanese Knotweed.

Wolverhampton City Council said it had not seen a rise in the number of calls about the weed.

But spokesman Gurdip Thandi said: "When we do get calls, we issue advice and information.

"We send out leaflets advising people how to tackle it along with letters reminding them of the legislation and warning them they could find themselves facing civil action from neighbours if they allow it to spread."

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Japanese Knotweed is a plant which starts in spring with the appearance of red shoots which unfurl red shoots.

It can grow up to 10cms a day.

The council advises that green cuttings of Japanese Knotweed are not left on verges, roadsides or derelict land and should not be put into water sources or green bins.

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