Option to visit Japanese knotweed field trial site included on conference programme

ReducedTW_2012_&_2015_ComparisonDelegates attending a specialised conference dedicated to the subject of non-native invasive plants will be able to see first-hand pioneering field trials where control methods for Japanese knotweed are being researched.

National trade body The Property Care Association (PCA) is holding its inaugural conference on the subject ‘Understanding Invasive Weeds: Japanese knotweed, Fact and Fiction’ on 23 September at The Vale Resort, Hensol, Cardiff.

As part of the event, the Association, with help from Complete Weed Control, has joined forces with researchers from Swansea University to organise site visits before and after the conference to large-scale field trials, being conducted in South Wales.

Academics from Swansea University state that in order to minimise the social and economic impacts of Japanese knotweed, control is undertaken across the UK at a cost of £165.6 million annually. Their research is looking to find the best means of controlling the invasive weed and is being conducted in a major programme using 64 15m x 15m field trial plots located across three sites.

The programme is utilising innovative and novel methods of control and the PCA conference offering will include Daniel Jones, who is leading the study, escorting delegates on organised tours to the field trials on 22 September and the morning of the 24 September.

Stephen Hodgson, Chief Executive of the PCA, said: “This is a superb opportunity for conference delegates to see first-hand how pioneering research is being undertaken using a series of field trials to determine the most effective, and ineffective, of Japanese knotweed control methods.

“These field trial sites are being used to compare combinations of both physical control methods and herbicide based methods.

“The research is also looking at the timing of application for control methods and will include associated economic and environmental costs.

“Ultimately the research aims to provide long-term evidence based assessment of Japanese Knotweed control method effectiveness and we are very pleased to be able to introduce these sites visits and offer this insight as part of the conference programme.”

The field trials are based less than 10 miles from the conference venue at The Vale Resort. Prompt booking is advised as numbers are strictly limited.

The field study tour joins a range of extra features announced for the conference, including a free Japanese knotweed Site Assessment Tool for delegates and the launch of some new Technical Notes.

‘Understanding Invasive Weeds: Japanese Knotweed, Fact and Fiction’ is the first conference held by the PCA’s specialist Invasive Weed Control Group and is being facilitated by Richard Newis, Ashfield Japanese Knotweed (chair), Ian Graham, Complete Weed Control and Professor Max Wade, AECOM.

As well as seeking to promote a level-headed and evidence based approach to Japanese Knotweed, there will be a focus on other invasive weeds such as Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed, which are increasingly under scrutiny in the UK, following the issue of new EU regulations, which came into effect in January.

These new regulations will empower government agencies to issue Control Orders that necessitate the management of high risk invasive weed species from specified sites, potentially including housing construction projects and neighbouring properties.

The conference is of interest to a wide-range of professionals including local authorities, statutory agencies, the rail, road and port industries, lawyers, utility companies, estate managers, house builders and developers, landlords, estate agents, housing associations, property agents, academia, surveyors and asset managers.

A full programme and booking form for the event can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/1dsH080.

Professor Max Wade, Chairman of the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group, said: “We are delighted with the content of the programme, including the site visits, which we feel will really add great impact to the event.”

In 2012, The Property Care Association – which has been in formation for 85 years – worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) – supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and The Building Societies Association – together with Japanese knotweed control companies that currently operate within the UK, to set up the Invasive Weed Control Group, to signpost consumers to professional treatment companies.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to Editors

Noted for its training and technical expertise, the PCA incorporates the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association (BWPDA), which has been in formation for 85 years.

The trade body represents the UK’s structural repair sector, as well as the structural waterproofing, wood preservation, damp-proofing, flood protection and invasive weed control industries.

www.property-care.org

 Press release issued by Jane Shepherd of Shepherd PR Limited, 01538 308685, mobile 07985 129315.