Trade body expands Japanese knotweed membership services into Ireland

A trade body with membership expertise in the treatment and eradication of Japanese knotweed has extended its services into Ireland.

Since 2012, the Property Care Association’s Invasive Weed Control Group has signposted the public and private sectors to professional, specialist invasive weed control contractors and consultants in the UK.

Now, with Japanese knotweed and other invasive non-native species taking hold across Ireland, the Association is providing a route for professional treatment companies to join the approved network in the country too.

Dr Peter Fitzsimons, PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group Technical Manager, said “Our members have been involved in projects across Ireland for a number of years. We’ve seen the demand for services continue to rise and, as a result, we are now expanding our trade association services into the country. The presence of Japanese knotweed can devalue land and property and lead to the refusal of mortgages on properties affected by it.

“It is a nuisance plant because it grows so rapidly and is capable of causing disruption around buildings. “However, we know it can be controlled, like other plants, and managed like many property problems, in that it can be identified and treated with minimal impact, but its effective eradication is a job for the experts.”

The PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group was formed by a group of leading industry experts, who formulated strict criteria for membership.

Dr Fitzsimons added: “The group has gone from strength-to-strength. The implementation and monitoring of these standards provides assurance that members listed as experts in the control and management of invasive species are capable of offering the highest levels of technical knowledge and practical skill.

“By extending our trade body services into Ireland, anyone who thinks they might have an issue and is looking to obtain a professional opinion will be able to consult with experts who meet the requirements of the Association.”

As part of the PCA’s greater focus on Ireland, its annual Invasive Weed Control conference taking place later this year will feature a wide range of information specific to the country.

Among the presenters are Helga Heylen, of Conservation Dogs, Ireland, who will talk about the role of sniffer dogs in discovering Japanese knotweed.

Current challenges in invasive weed management in Ireland will also be discussed by Professor Joe Caffrey of INVAS Biosecurity.

More details on the conference, which takes place on 21 November, can be found here.

The Association also has a library of information including guidance notes, information leaflets and a Code of Practice – all available for free download – to provide insight and guidance on the issue. Click here.