THE WORST places in Worcestershire for the UK’s most invasive plant Japanese Knotweed have been revealed.
Topping the poll is Worcester with 43 cases within a 4km radius, closely followed by Bromsgrove with 41, Droitwich with 25 and Redditch 15.
The findings have been produced by Environet UK to warn county homeowners their gardens may have been invaded by the weed.
It starts out with red asparagus-like shoots and then quickly grows into a lush-looking shrub with distinctive heart-shaped green leaves and pink-flecked stems.
According to Environet UK, approximately four to five per cent of the UK’s houses are currently affected, either directly or indirectly (via a neighbour’s property).
The Environment Agency labels it ‘indisputably the UK’s most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant’.
Japanese knotweed grows rampantly along railways, waterways, in parks and gardens.
It is notoriously difficult to treat without professional help and can reduce a property’s value by around ten per cent.
Householders are warned not to try and get rid of it themselves – people try to cover it to stop it getting sunlight, digging it out, burning it and even electrocuting it but none of those methods are effective.
Last year an outbreak at an allotments in Droitwich left the town and district councils with a £4,000 bill and it will take years to completely eradicate.
Homeowners are encouraged to employ a professional firm to get rid of it and get a ten-year insurance backed guarantee.
Last year Environet launched a live interactive Japanese Knotweed heatmap.
Visit environetuk.com for more information and the heatmap.