War declared to stop ‘triffid-like’ knotweed in Colne

A GROWING Japanese knotweed problem in Colne has sparked calls for an “all-out war”.

Primet Community Centre head gardener John Hall with the Japanese Knotweed that is to be removed..
Primet Community Centre head gardener John Hall with the Japanese Knotweed that is to be removed..

Coun. Tony Greaves has been raising concerns about the invasive alien weed for years, and now feels that the issue needs to be clamped down on once and for all.

He said that the knotweed, which is known as Fallopia japonica, is threatening to spread through Pendle at an alarming rate, and reported the most severe cases as being at Pendle View Gardens, next to the Primet Community Centre, and on a potential housing site at Bunkers Hill. He also said there has been an outbreak of the plant, which grows from tiny pieces of stem and is strong enough to break through concrete, in many places along Colne Water.

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At the latest meeting of Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee, it was announced that the Ribble River Trust has agreed to treat the knotweed for free at Pendle View Gardens, where the plants are reaching heights of up to 3m.

Coun. Greaves, who calls the knotweed the real-life “Triffid plant” said: “It is invasive, it is destructive, and it carries all in its wake.

“I have called on Pendle Council to get a strategy to defeat this menace. We are waiting for the results of a working group which the management team set up after I made this call.”

And Ken Farnell, chairman at Primet Hill Community Centre added: “It is very bad. We have had someone down to look at it.”

According to Coun. Greaves destroying the plant is not easy, as it reproduces vegetatively. Eradication involves specialist treatment by chemicals and can take as long as three years.

He added that Pendle Council and PEARL are also looking urgently at the best way to deal with the large infestation.

The councillor, who also sits as a Liberal Democrat peer in the House of Lords, said: “There is also a lot of this stuff in the river, right through the South Valley of Colne and no doubt beyond.

“There is no doubt that it’s a war, and one that may take some time.

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“Most of all, people need to know what to do if they find it on their land. Just cutting it down makes things far worse.”

Anybody with any concerns about Japanese knotweed in the area can get in touch with Pendle Council’s Contact Centre by ringing 661661.