Japanese Knotweed rearing its head at Fort George

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A resurgence of the invasive Japanese Knotweed species, first identified at Fort George ten years ago, is nothing to worry about, according to the Department for Communities.

A spokesperson for DfC said the weed is under control despite outgrowths having had to be boxed off at the fence along the riverside cycleway over recent days.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds have already been spent trying to control the invasive plant by DfC’s predecessor departments at Fort George, Ilex and, later, the Department of Social Development, but it’s still there.

However, a DfC spokesperson said: “Japanese Knotweed was previously identified on site in 2007 and a programme of management and treatment commenced including an updated survey carried out in 2012 and further treatment undertaken in 2013.

“The Knotweed has been significantly reduced in volume due to the careful management and intensive treatment undertaken. This was supported by a further survey in 2016 that indicated only minor occurrences on the site. A management plan was produced to treat these and is currently underway.

“The Department intends to begin the remediation of the wider site later this year and complete the remediation works by late 2018. This contract will address the residual knotweed present on site and there will therefore be no impact on future development.”