Japanese knotweed: 10 Edinburgh high-risk areas revealed, how to stop it from spreading

These are the 10 Edinburgh areas with Japanese knotweed infestations, according to an interactive heatmap.

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The invasive species known as Japanese Knotweed has been found infesting places in and around Edinburgh. The species is aggressive and could destroy your property. According to a heatmap provided by invasive plant specialists at Environetuk, over 79 infestations have been found within a 4km radius across the city centre alone.

The species can cause mass damage and homeowners should be wary of how destructive the plant can be. In London, a man has successfully sued the previous owner of his house after discovering a large amount of Japanese knotweed in his garden, resulting in a £200,000 court bill.

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Making a seller aware of the presence of Japanese knotweed has been legally required since 2013. According to the Royal Horticultural Society, the seller is required to state whether Japanese knotweed is present on their property through a TA6 form - the property information form used for conveyancing.

So, what areas in Edinburgh have had reported infestations? Here are the places with the biggest infestations according to the Environetuk heatmap.

10 Edinburgh areas with Japanese knotweed infestations

According to Environetuk, these are the Edinburgh areas with the most Japanese knotweed infestations within a 4km radius. You can check if your area is infested with the destructive plant by keying in your postcode:

  • Inverleith - 79 reported occurrences
  • Leith - 48 reported occurrences
  • Livingston - 37 reported occurrences
  • Broxburn - 57 reported occurrences
  • Bathgate - 42 reported occurrences
  • Bonnyrigg - 29 reported occurrences
  • South Queensferry - 34 reported occurrences

How to stop knotweed spreading

According to the Government website, homeowners should not treat knotweed on their own unless they have the appropriate skills or they can find companies that specialise in treating knotweed.

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Spraying or injecting the stems with chemicals can be an effective treatment to stop knotweeds spreading but only approved herbicides can be used. Respraying is also needed as it usually takes at least three years to treat Japanese knotweed.

When using chemicals, you may need to:

  • make sure anyone spraying holds a certificate of competence for herbicide use or works under direct supervision of a certificate holder
  • carry out a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health assessment
  • get permission from Natural England if the area is protected, for example sites of special scientific interest
  • get permission from the Environment Agency if the plants are near water

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