Connect with us

Current

UK’s Japanese knotweed hotspots shown on interactive map

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Japanese knotweed is a devastating invasive plant which can break through concrete, bricks and mortar, and new data reveals Bolton is the worst affected place in the UK. 

The North West of England is one of the hardest hit parts of the country, with three places — Bolton (first), St Helens (third) and Blackburn (fifth) — among the ten most plagued locations.  

Wales and the South West have also been hit hard, with Bristol (2), Cardiff (4), Llanelli (6) and Swansea (7) all in the ten worst affected places. 

According to Environet, a company which specialises in the removal of invasive plants like bamboo and Japanese knotweed, the top ten is rounded out by Rotherham in eighth, Shepherd’s Bush in ninth and Nottingham in tenth. 

The company has built an interactive heat map called Exposed which collected information on more than 54,000 infestations.

Scroll down for video 

Japanese knotweed removal experts Environet built an interactive heat map (pictured) which collected more than 54,000 known infestations of the plant. It reveals parts of the country which are hardest hit by the plant

Japanese knotweed removal experts Environet built an interactive heat map (pictured) which collected more than 54,000 known infestations of the plant. It reveals parts of the country which are hardest hit by the plant

Top 10 UK Japanese knotweed hotspots

The data below comes from Environet, a leading British company which specialises in combatting and eradicating invasive plants, such as japanese knotweed and bamboo. 

Location 

Bolton 

Bristol 

St Helens 

Cardiff 

Blackburn 

Llanelli 

Swansea 

Rotherham 

Shepherd’s Bush 

Nottingham       

Infestations 

 621

465

440

419

406

382

330

320

230

228 

Users can browse the map to see how many infestations have been reported within a 4km radius (2.5miles) of any location in the UK, or can search by postcode.  

Japanese knotweed is exceptionally strong and its roots are capable of growing through concrete, drains, mortar, brick and even cavity walls. 

The weed is incredibly hard to control, as its underground roots grow stronger and faster than the above-ground plant which is visible to gardeners. 

A study by scientists at Swansea University in 2018 found the plant is impossible to manage with standard measures. After 19 different attempts, they failed to control it. 

Homeowners are unable to control the spread of the plant themselves, with expert help needed in order to eradicate it once it takes root. 

It hibernates throughout winter but exits its phase of dormancy in the spring, growing again in March. This growth phase can be easily spotted as distinctive red shoots which look like asparagus emerge. 

Other telltale signs of the plant are its distinctive shield-shaped leaves, pretty white flowers which bloom in the summer, and pink-flecked stems.

The plant grows rapidly in the summer months, surging around four inches (10cm) every day between May and July until it reaches a height of up to 10ft (3metres).  

The plant is native to the Far East and was brought to Kew Gardens in the 1840s for its beautiful flowers but it grew out of control and has now spread across the British Isles. 

The Government estimates it would now cost £1.5bn to clear the UK of knotweed.

Its destructive ability means it can be a nightmare for homeowners as it not only poses a structural risk but reduces a property’s value by around ten per cent. 

House sellers are legally required to declare the presence of Japanese knotweed (pictured) if they have any knowledge of it and those who lie can be sued for misrepresentation

House sellers are legally required to declare the presence of Japanese knotweed (pictured) if they have any knowledge of it and those who lie can be sued for misrepresentation

The North West of England (pictured) is one of the hardest hit parts of the country, with three places — Bolton (first), St Helens (third) and Blackburn (fifth) — among the ten most plagued locations

The North West of England (pictured) is one of the hardest hit parts of the country, with three places — Bolton (first), St Helens (third) and Blackburn (fifth) — among the ten most plagued locations

The South West and Wales (pictured) is another hard hit region, with Bristol (2), Cardiff (4), Llanelli (6) and Swansea (7) all in the ten worst affected places in the UK

The South West and Wales (pictured) is another hard hit region, with Bristol (2), Cardiff (4), Llanelli (6) and Swansea (7) all in the ten worst affected places in the UK 

According to Environet’s research, approximately one in 20 homes are currently affected by the plant, either directly or indirectly via a neighbour’s garden, knocking around £20 billion off UK house prices. 

People can now use the Environet online tool to see how badly their area is affected by the plant. 

Nic Seal, founder of Environet, told MailOnline: ‘Knowledge is power when it comes to Japanese knotweed and this heatmap is invaluable to homeowners and buyers who want to assess the risk in their local area. 

‘With the stamp duty holiday extended and lockdown restrictions beginning to ease, the property market is busier than ever – but failing to carry out the appropriate checks for knotweed can turn out to be an expensive mistake.

‘Despite its fearsome reputation, with professional help, the plant can be dealt with and the value of a property largely restored. 

‘I’d urge anyone buying or selling a property, or homeowners wishing to preserve the value of their home, to be vigilant for signs of spring growth and check Exposed to see whether they live in a high-risk area.’

The leaves of Japanese Knotweed but smaller than Bohemian knotweed andis slightly lighter in colour. Leaves are shield shaped and at least 4inches long

The leaves of Japanese Knotweed but smaller than Bohemian knotweed andis slightly lighter in colour. Leaves are shield shaped and at least 4inches long

Shepherd's Bush is the only London location to feature in the top ten most affected parts of the UK for japanese knotweed infestations

Shepherd’s Bush is the only London location to feature in the top ten most affected parts of the UK for japanese knotweed infestations 

Environet recently commissioned a piece of research which found 70 per cent of homeowners would take legal action against previous owners if they discovered a Japanese knotweed infestation in their property.

Sellers are legally required to declare the presence of Japanese knotweed if they have any knowledge of it, and those who lie can be sued for misrepresentation.

If found guilty, the courts can force the seller to pay out compensation for diminution of the property’s value, as well as any extra costs if the weed spreads to neighbouring land.  

YouGov data from 2,000 British respondents reveals that knowledge of the invasive weed is growing in the UK, with 80 per cent of Britons now aware of the plant. 

Environet is also training dogs to sniff out knotweed in a bid to make it easier to find signs of infestation.  

Training twin brother Labradors Mick and Mack took less than three months — and was based on their love of tennis balls.

In the early days, a ball was placed next to a small amount of knotweed. The size of the ball was gradually reduced, until the knotweed became a stronger scent than the ball. 

Eventually, there was no ball at all, though the dogs still associated the knotweed with it. 

Source link

Current

House and 54 acres for sale near Amanda Owen’s Our Yorkshire Farm

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Fancy living near the Yorkshire Shepherdess? Nearby derelict cottage with 54 acres of land in North Yorkshire is up for grabs for £255k

  • Property is near Ravenseat, from Amanda Owen’s TV Show Our Yorkshire Farm
  • Carter’s Cottage is the name of the property listing and it includes 54 acres
  • The renovation project in North Yorkshire is on the market for £255k










Fancy living near the Yorkshire Shepherdess and having the Yorkshire Dales in your back garden?

Now is your opportunity, as a property with 54.5 acres of land is available to buy for £255,000 near Ravenseat Farm, home to shepherdess Amanda Owen, her husband of 21 years Clive, and their nine children.

The catch is that the house and adjoining barn are derelict and off-grid, with no mains services but with access to natural water on the site. 

The family and remote Ravenseat farm feature in the popular Channel 5 show Our Yorkshire Farm, as well as the best-selling book The Yorkshire Shepherdess

Amanda Owen is pictured with her family, consisting of her husband Clive, and their children Raven, Reuben, Miles, Edith, Violet, Sidney, Annas, Clementine, and Nancy

Amanda Owen is pictured with her family, consisting of her husband Clive, and their children Raven, Reuben, Miles, Edith, Violet, Sidney, Annas, Clementine, and Nancy

The nearby property for sale for £255k is called Carter's Cottage and has a similar feel to Ravenseat due to the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside

The nearby property for sale for £255k is called Carter’s Cottage and has a similar feel to Ravenseat due to the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside

There are no mains services to the former cottage or the land but there is a natural water supply at various points

There are no mains services to the former cottage or the land but there is a natural water supply at various points

The property for sale is called Carter’s Cottage and has a similar feel to Ravenseat as it is surrounded by plenty of beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.

However, it does not currently include a habitable home. Instead, there is a derelict stone cottage that would need to be converted before it can be occupied – or even rented out as a holiday home – as well as an adjoining stone barn. 

The property for sale is in Arkengarthdale, which is a dale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire.

There are no mains services to the former cottage or land, but there is a natural water supply at various points. The property is on the market for £255,000 via estate agents H&H Land & Estates.

Amanda runs Ravenseat farm with her husband Clive. She says hundreds of curious fans come to visit in hopes of catching a glimpse of her or her children

Amanda runs Ravenseat farm with her husband Clive. She says hundreds of curious fans come to visit in hopes of catching a glimpse of her or her children

There is a derelict stone cottage that would need to be converted before it can be occupied - or even rented out as a holiday home

There is a derelict stone cottage that would need to be converted before it can be occupied – or even rented out as a holiday home

The property for sale is in Arkengarthdale, which is a dale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire

The property for sale is in Arkengarthdale, which is a dale on the east side of the Pennines in North Yorkshire

While bookings are not currently being taken due to the pandemic, fans of the show have previously been able to visit and stay at Ravenseat Farm by renting out either a shepherd’s hut for £90 a night or a separate property on the family’s land for £175 a night.

It is possible to make the area nearby your regular holiday spot – or even your permanent base – as the property for sale is around 14 miles from Ravenseat Farm.  

The building needs a lot of work has plenty of scope to become a family house or holiday home, depending on budgets and planning permission

The building needs a lot of work has plenty of scope to become a family house or holiday home, depending on budgets and planning permission

Land has become increasingly sought-after amid the pandemic’s so-called ‘race for space’ among buyers.

Daniel Copley, of property website Zoopla, said: ‘If you’re tempted to make the move from the city to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, this cottage and 54.5 acres of pasture land is brimming with potential and has a truly stunning location overlooking the Yorkshire Dales.’

The property for sale is on an elevated position on the east side of Arkengarthdale. 

Reeth is around four miles to the east, with the larger market town of Richmond about 14 miles to the east.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Current

‘After divorce, I’ve fallen in love. But something is holding me back’

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Question: I’m a divorced man, and I think I’ve fallen in love. This woman I care about so much brought me back to life after my divorce woes and I feel happy when we’re together. My life would certainly change if the relationship progressed and I feel the need to hit the brakes. Is it fear holding me back? Some advice would be great.

Answer: I think it is great that you are able to identify fear as the block to your relationship and it is worth looking at this. You have had a divorce, so your experience of relationship breakup is real and is clearly causing you to pause before heading into a committed relationship again. Some areas worth checking are your capacity for self-awareness, your relationship patterns and habits and your history of decision making.

Looking at self-awareness first – are you conscious of what motivates your actions and speech? In terms of self-awareness, there are many aspects of our ourselves which we are aware of, but we do need help with uncovering the full picture. For example, we can often see that someone we live or work with is stressed but they themselves would not know or acknowledge this and think that they are operating from a calm and collected place. It might be worth you checking with friends what they see in your new relationship and how they see you behaving. Do you seem happier to them, or is there wariness or caution in your approach to your partner? Your friends or family will be able to evaluate your wellness (or not) without the emotion or fear that you may have operating.

Ask for some honest opinions and remember if you ask for advice, take it on board as they may have more objectivity than you do. We all have relationship patterns and habits, so it is worth looking at yours to see if this is influencing your current impasse. These patterns typically start with our family of origin. For example, if there were difficulties (silences, anger, distances, or lack trust and love) in your parents’ relationship it is likely that you have a capacity to put up with or repeat such patterns in your own relationships.

Send your query anonymously to Trish Murphy

It helps to talk it over with someone you trust, so that you can hear the emotion that is going on in your voice and then act to disperse it

It sounds as though you are mistrusting of someone who has “brought you back to life” and it is worth looking at whether this caution is coming from your own past experience or from fear of getting into a relationship pattern similar to your parents’ one. It takes courage to challenge our patterns and the nature of habit is that it operates outside of conscious thinking, so we can respond without even knowing where we are coming from, eg we push someone away just as intimacy is growing. Behaviour such as this could derive from a generational fear of rejection, or a fear of closeness, or of being discovered as not what we seem to be. It is good to explore such habits as we can struggle to see them operating and they can operate as a huge block in our lives.

It is true that the “in-love” feeling can sometimes mask some of the adored person’s characteristics and this is why we always need the “head” as well as the “heart” when making decisions. What is your decision-making like normally? Do you have enough knowledge of this person to make a decision about joining your lives together? Have you spent enough time with them and their circle of friends to make an informed choice? Sometimes the feeling of intense connection at the beginning of a relationship can make us lose sight of the fact that we don’t know the other person very well and in these situations we would do well to slow it down and let our judgement work when the time is right. If you are happy that you have enough knowledge and information to make this decision, then you are probably right that it is fear that is stopping you moving forward.

A little fear is natural and can even help us, for example we drive under the speed limit oftentimes out of fear of getting a speeding ticket. However too much fear can be debilitating, and it can completely bock our intelligence. All relationships involve risk, in that we have to trust that someone else will value us and not reject us. Fear is such a powerful emotion it can cover other more rational and sane judgements and so we need to ensure that we are not just operating from that place.

It helps to talk it over with someone you trust, so that you can hear the emotion that is going on in your voice and then act to disperse it. However, it is worth knowing that fear and panic are closely aligned so we need to tackle them slowly and incrementally or else we go into a kind of frozenness. Overcome small fears first – this might involve speaking with some honesty with your partner – and gradually build up to the bigger fears. Your confidence and self-awareness will grow along the way and this can only benefit you. 

Click here to send your question to Trish or email tellmeaboutit@irishtimes.com

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Lighthouse workers end up with front-row seats for Storm Barra

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Four lighthouse workers who went to Fastnet Lighthouse in west Cork to carry out maintenance on Friday ended up having front-row seats for Storm Barra as they had to stay onsite due to the conditions.

The lighthouse recorded a wind gust of 159km/h on Tuesday morning but Irish Lights electronic engineer Paul Barron said that it was a safe place to be as the country battened down the hatches to face the storm.

Mr Barron and his colleagues Ronnie O’Driscoll, Dave Purdy and Malcolm Gillies made the journey to Fastnet on Friday to do maintenance work and were due back on Tuesday but their helicopter flight was cancelled because of the storm. They hope to arrive back on the mainland on Thursday.

Mr Barron said they are passing their time onsite by watching Netflix and having a few steaks and rashers. He admitted it was a day to remember on the lighthouse which is 54 metres above the sea.

“There is a team of four of us out here. It has been quite a rough day. We started off this morning at around 2am and by 10am or 11am we were in the eye of the storm. I was in the merchant Navy before as a radio officer so I have seen a lot of bad weather. I am with Irish Lights 32 years but I haven’t normally seen it like this. We wouldn’t normally be out in this. You are talking 9m swells with winds gusting up to 90 knots.”

He captured some footage of the storm on his phone. During the worst of the weather the men found it hard to hear each other as it was so noisy during the squalls.

The tower was “shuddering a bit” but Mr Barron managed to shoot video footage which attracted attention online and even a call from Sky News.

He says the lighthouse has kitchen facilities and they always bring additional food in case of emergency.

“It could be a fine summer’s day and there could be thick fog and the chopper wouldn’t take off so we always bring extra food. We are passing the time by watching Netflix! This is a good place to be in the eye of a storm. This lighthouse has been built a hundred years so it has seen a lot of storms.”

As for families being concerned about the men Mr Barron jokes that their loved ones are probably relieved they aren’t at home hogging the remote control.

Meanwhile, in Cork city centre the river Lee spilled on to quays and roads on Tuesday morning but no major damage to property was caused. Debris and falling trees kept local authority crews busy and power outages were reported in a number of areas across the county.

At least 23 properties were flooded in Bantry in west Cork. The council had placed sandbags along the quay wall and the fire brigade had six manned pumps around the town.

In north Cork, a lorry driver had a lucky escape in Fermoy when his vehicle overturned on the motorway during the high winds. Traffic diversions were put in place following the incident.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!