Experts warn of invasive concrete-cracking weed and reveals hotspots

Sean Hathaway is covered by Japanese knotweed close to Swansea Marina. Scientists are to jet across

Sean Hathaway (environment officer, Swansea Council) is covered by Japanese knotweed close to Swansea Marina - Credit: PA

An invasive plant specialist has urged homeowners to check if their property is at risk from a superweed.  

Environet UK has revealed the Japanese knotweed hotspots for spring 2022 by using data from its online tracker heatmap, which is produced from reports of the weed verified by experts.  

The map shows data from 2019 - when it was launched -  to the current day, and allows users to enter their postcode to discover nearby sightings. 

According to the heatmap, there have been 39 reports of knotweed within 4km of Romford Town.  

This number has gone up by one since last year, when this newspaper reported Romford was subject to 38 known infestations of the weed.

In Brentwood there are 16 reports of knotweed within 4km of Middleton Hall Lane.  

The specialist said the weed can pose “serious problems” for homeowners if left unchecked.  

Issues include its ability to grow through cracks in concrete, tarmac driveways, pathways, drains and cavity walls.  

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It can be identified by heart-shaped leaves and pink veins.

Founder and managing director of Environet, Nic Seal, said being aware of its presence and taking action to remove it before it spreads or causes serious damage, is key.