Japanese Knotweed found on canal bank

Forth and Clyde Canal, Kirkintilloch
Forth and Clyde Canal, Kirkintilloch

Japanese Knotweed was found on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal near Luggie Park, in Kirkintilloch.

The invasive plant is a particularly aggressive species which can grow up to 20cm each day.

It can burrow under concrete and severely damage both homes and businesses.

Experts from Scottish Natural Heritage say the plant and other similar species cost the Scottish economy around £244 million each year.

One concerned resident contacted the Kirkintilloch Herald after spotting the weed near the canalside on Luggiebank Road.

He said: “I have watched as this weed has steadily been spreading.

“It’s very invasive. It can burrow through concrete and cause all manner of problems.

Japanese Knotweed is identified by its large, heart-shaped leaves, its hollow bamboo-like stems and white flowers.

Simply removing the weed risks propagation as almost every part of the plant can ‘re-establish’ at another location.

A spokesperson from the Scottish Environment Protection Agency said: “Japanese Knotweed is a highly invasive plant which must be treated with care if removed, to ensure it is not inadvertently spread further during disposal.

“While removal of Japanese Knotweed is the responsibility of the landowner, SEPA must be consulted on the use of herbicides being used to treat the plant in or near watercourses.”

The council has said that all reports of Japanese Knotweed are investigated and, if confirmed, will be treated on site.

Grace Irvine, director of neighbourhood services said: “The council has a clear procedure which is implemented when we receive reports of Japanese Knotweed on council-owned land. The land in question is owned by the council and is currently part of our treatment plan.”