Swineshaw Reservoir - How not to deal with Japanese knotweed

In 2012 we ran a story about the invasion of the Old Glossop waterways with Japanese knotweed, and how attempts to control the invasive plant should start with the highest point upstream; Swineshaw Reservoir. We asked United Utilities how long they had been aware of knotweed on the site, what action they had taken to control it, and why it wasn't fenced. In February 2013 a spokesperson for United Utilities said: "There is a small amount of Japanese Knotweed on our land and also on our neighbour's land. They added "It's worth pointing out that it is not illegal to have knotweed on your land, but it is illegal to undertake activities that would cause it to spread. "

We are not carrying out any activities that would cause it to spread, but it would be very difficult to eradicate this invasive species unless all the landowners worked together jointly. We will keep an eye on the situation and discuss it with our neighbour."

A week later they said "I'm told the neighbouring landowner has changed recently.  I'll let you have any updates". Since then we have heard nowt. Today the main clump of Japanese knotweed occupies an area approximately 20m long and 2-4m wide at the northeastern edge of the reservoir.

There are smaller patches along the bank and large outbreaks along the road and in a compound just off the road that appears to contain dumped soil. There has been no visible attempt to treat the knotweed or prevent it spreading, and so the evidence suggests that no action has been taken. In many places there is evidence that stems have been broken off by hand, or crushed by cars. We asked United Utilities for an update and will publish any answer we receive.

Update July 2nd 2014 - United Utilities agree to treat (and probably fence) knotweed infection at Swineshaw Reservoir




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