Knotweed project a success – but what next?

A pilot project to tackle Japanese Knotweed ‘appears to be working’ – but there is no sign of a more widespread campaign to eradicate the plant.

In 2010 Argyll and Bute Council launched a programme to control the invasive plant at four sites – road verges and Church Road  in Cove, a shore path in Garelochhead and the Victoria Halls car park in Helensburgh.

Japanese Knotweed spreads rapidly and is notoriously difficult to eradicate.

A report to the authority’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee this Tuesday says the weed has been sprayed twice a year with picloram or glysophate-based compounds.

“Generally, where repeat chemical applications have been carried out, JK regrowth is extremely limited, although the department is aware that further monitoring and chemical applications will be required, ” says the report by executive director of customer services Douglas Hendry.

“Control measures appear to be working in that regrowth is greatly diminished at those sites so far treated and in some places is almost eradicated.”

But new sites will only be treated ‘as resources permit’ and no new sources of funding have been found.

A review will be held this autumn to decide the best way to treat the problem in future, with options suggested including partnership working and the third sector.