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Specialist contractors embark on three-year treatment programme to remove Japanese knotweed from Hardinge Road, Ashford

By Samantha Williams

Treatment work is being carried out to kill an invasive species discovered in Ashford town centre.

A batch of Japanese knotweed has been identified close to the former Ashdown Court site, off Hardinge Road.

Fences, carrying a warning sign, have been erected around the weed, sealing the area off from the public.

The fast-spreading plant was discovered off Hardinge Road
The fast-spreading plant was discovered off Hardinge Road

The public notice reads: “Restricted access. The soil in this area contains Japanese knotweed and is being treated.

“Do not enter unless authorised. Do not removed soil from this area with authorisation.”

Japanese Knotweed Ltd were alerted to the fast-growing plant by contractors from Durkan, who are developing Ashdown Court.

Japanese Knotweed Ltd are tackling the problem
Japanese Knotweed Ltd are tackling the problem

Ben Lindley from the company said: “We believe the Japanese knotweed was discovered in the last 12 months during a planning application to develop the site.

“We were instructed by the developer to remediate the Japanese knotweed in-line with the development of the site.

“We will carry out a combination of instant eradication works involving the excavation of Japanese knotweed and removal to landfill, and in-situ systemic herbicide treatment.”

The treatment programme is expected to take three years.

Japanese knotweed, also known as fallopia japonica, is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst invasive species.

If left, the invasive root system and strong growth can damage concrete foundations, buildings, flood defences, roads, paving, retaining walls and architectural sites.

Mr Lindley added that the pesky plant and the treatment works pose no health risks to humans or animals.

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