Concern over knotweed on private lands

Concern over knotweed on private lands
Information sign erected at a Japanese Knotweed site on the old N25 road at Glounthaune. Pic; Larry Cummins

JAPANESE knotweed is not being dealt with on private lands according to county councillors.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is the primary enforcement authority for dealing with infestations but councillors have said they believe this is not being carried out when knotweed encroaches onto another owner’s land.

Seamus McGrath (FF) said NPWS needs to outline their enforcement policy.

“A lot of work has been done in treating Japanese knotweed in public areas but an issue has arisen on a number of occasions where knotweed appears on private ground and the owner is not treating it. This causes major concern for neighbouring properties. We need to get an indication of what enforcements are underway,” he added.

Joe Harris (SD) said there is an area in Douglas where the owner of a property can’t be identified and knotweed from the premises is affecting residents and two businesses.

“I have never heard of the NPWS enforcing anything. Nobody seems to be dealing with this,” he added.

Marcia D’Alton (IND) said she has contacted NPWS in relation to knotweed on private land but they have been unable to provide any treatment options.

Kevin Murphy (FG) described it as “disturbing” that there is Japanese knotweed growing on private lands and owners are ignoring it.

“[County Council’s] hands are tied. The clause that we are unable to enter private lands should be lifted and we should be allowed to where it is necessary,” he said.

Cork County Council has identified 400 roadside sites in the county infested with knotweed. New plants can grow from the nodes of pieces of green stem, in soil or water. Mechanical cutters can spread knotweed. If stems are dried sufficiently, they will not regrow unless the base of the stem is still attached.

County Hall will write to NPWS to seek information on what enforcements are in place in relation to invasive knotweed on private properties that is not being treated.

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