Knot a visitor to welcome

Japanese knotweed in Waterside, Kirkintilloch.
Japanese knotweed in Waterside, Kirkintilloch.

FEARS of an invasion are growing – and this visitor can crack through solid concrete.

Huge amounts of Japanese Knotweed have been found on the southern bank of the River Luggie in the Waterside area of Kirkintilloch.

East Dunbartonshire Council officers are battling to stop it spreading onto the nearby public footpath.

But they say they are powerless to act on the source of the problem because they don’t know who owns the land.

Even if they find the owner, under the Wildlife Act they can only force a clean-up if the weed is being actively moved off-site.

Residents are concerned because the pest, which can grow a metre in just three weeks, is notorious for quickly taking over large tracks of land - killing indigenous plants in its wake and causing structural problems to roads and buildings.

Bill Lapping, chairman of Waterside Community Council, said: “There is a serious problem with Japanese Knotweed at the side of the Luggie Bridge.

“It is very prevalent and I understand there is no quick fix.

“It makes the place look an absolute state and to my knowledge the council has done nothing about it since September. This is not an accident waiting to happen. The accident has already happened and something needs to be done now.”

Keith Scrimgeour, the council’s roads and neighbourhood services manager, said: “The council has investigated the knotweed and can confirm that the majority is not on council land.

“However, we are in the process of treating the weed that has spread to council land on the footpath area.

“Where such instances have occurred in the past, the council has written to the land owners where they can be identified to advise them of their obligations under the Wildlife Act. However, we do not know who owns this site on this occasion.

“We will continue to monitor the site and treat the weed if it spreads to council land.”

Mr Scrimgeour added that if residents made the council aware of the landowner he would write to them about the knotweed.