Because of Japanese Knotweed’s aggressive and damaging nature, the UK introduced legislation over 30 years ago to prevent its spread:
- Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 14(2), it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause the species to grow in the wild.
- Japanese knotweed material and soil containing rhizomes (roots), is classified as “controlled waste” and as such must be disposed of safely at a licensed landfill site and buried at a depth of no less than 5 metres or incinerated at an appropriate facility (Duty of Care Regulations 1991 under the Environmental Protection Act 1990).
- An offence under the Act can result in criminal prosecution, an unlimited fine and even imprisonment.
If you let Japanese knotweed spread from your property to adjacent land, you can be pursued for costs and damages under common and private nuisance laws.
While it is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed on your land, allowing it to spread beyond your boundaries or disposing of it illegally can have dire consequences. Do not put it in your recycling or any other bin or offload at the municipal dump.
Please contact us if you have any legal questions. It is usually best to try and settle knotweed disputes between neighbours amicably. We can act as a go-between for you in most cases.