Invasive species

Two plant species which premises managers should be particularly aware of are Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort

There are certain invasive plant species which have potential legal and cost implications for premises managers; two plant species which premises managers should be particularly aware of are Japanese Knotweed and Ragwort. There is legislation in place which covers the control and treatment of these plants and premises managers should be aware of their responsibilities.

Japanese Knotweed can cause significant structural damage to buildings, including masonry and concrete, and can be very expensive to eradicate depending on its location. As an invasive species it can spread to cover large areas and over whelm native species; with strong roots and the ability to survive for several years underground it is a plant which is difficult to eradicate from a property. While Knotweed can cause significant damage to the buildings which a premises manager is responsible for, and the associated repair costs, the main legal issues for a premises manager is the potential spread of the plant to an adjoining property and subsequent claims being made by neighbouring properties.

The main concern from the spread of Ragwort is that it is poisonous to animals and can also be poisonous to humans; Ragwort is covered by specific legislation and while a premises manager does not necessarily need to remove it from their property, there is a responsibility to prevent it from spreading onto adjacent land. The types of premises most at risk from this are likely to be in more rural areas but can also be in urban areas; school fields or properties with adjacent open land could be affected by Ragwort and it is possible for the plant to grow in surfaces such as concrete slabs and brick paving.

It is important that premises managers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to these, and other, invasive species. PSG are able to arrange for these plants to be treated in the most effective and compliant way as weed killers suitable for the treatment of Japanese Knotweed are controlled and the treatment of Ragwort is very much dependant on its location.