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UK’s Japanese knotweed hotspots shown on interactive map

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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.

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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. 

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Barings and HBD secure planning for London logistics scheme (GB)

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Barings and HBD have secured detailed planning for a strategic logistics scheme in Rainham, London, transforming a 20-acre brownfield site. The new development, Momentum London, is being delivered by Barings and HBD in a joint venture partnership. It will create 381,814ft² of new logistics and industrial space across four units ranging from 41,000 -171,000ft².

 

The scheme will target Net Zero Carbon, BREEAM “Excellent” and an EPC “A+” rating. This is being achieved by dynamic design, careful consideration of materials, zero use of fossil fuels, maximizing photovoltaic solar panels, battery storage and intelligent building systems. The units will be 100% EV ready, including passive fleet charging to the yards.

 

The logistics park will be set in landscaped environment with picnic and public areas, as well as direct access onto the Thames Cycle Path, so that it brings further social benefits to the area. Positioned on the River Thames, with potential for jetty access, Momentum will offer an easy stepping stone into Central London and out via the A13, just minutes away.

 

Darren Hutchinson, Head of UK Real Estate Transactions and Managing Director at Barings, said: Momentum London will be a strategically located logistics scheme with strong environmental and social credentials, beneficial both to future occupiers and the communities around it. Logistics is one of Barings’ preferred investment sectors and Momentum London exemplifies the kind of developments we’re seeking, with a keen interest in exploring joint ventures like this one with HBD.”

 

Simon Quine, Senior Development Surveyor at HBD, said: “Industrial and logistics space remains in very limited supply across London, particularly larger distribution units. Momentum will plug that gap within the M25 and provide modern, sustainable logistics and distribution space to serve London and the wider South East market. Landscaping and wellness have been thoroughly considered, with careful design considerations and enhancements to the Thames Foot and Cycle path, which we hope will help occupiers to attract and retain staff.”

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Mirrored furniture trend can create the illusion of space in your home

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Mirrored furniture provokes strong emotions. Some see it as the epitome of bad taste, flashy and bling. Others know that mirrors have magic powers.

A mirrored table or cabinet makes a room or a hallway appear more swish and spacious. It’s a trick that bars and restaurants employ to ensure their establishments appear roomier and more inviting — and they can add lustre to your home, too.

Choosing a piece of mirrored furniture also sends out a sign that you are aware of one of the year’s trends — the return of Art Deco, the influential style that emerged in the 1920s. 

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

Reflections: A mirrored bedside table. The power of the mirror to create an impression has been recognised for centuries

It blended forms that celebrated modern machinery with decorative elements drawn from Greco-Roman culture and nature. 

The mirror was a favourite material, used on the surfaces of furniture and walls to supply a shimmering silver and gold effect.

Probably the most famous piece of Art Deco architecture is New York’s Chrysler Building. Completed in 1930, its sunburst-patterned stainless steel spire remains one of the key elements of the Manhattan skyline.

Art Deco console tables, drinks trolleys and other items from the era of the building’s construction sell for thousands on auction sites such as 1stdibs underlining the growing appeal of this aesthetic. 

Jamie Watkins, the co-founder of fabric and wallpaper company Divine Savages, explains Art Deco’s allure for a new audience.

‘Art Deco, with its bold geometrical patterns was such an iconic period for design: it’s synonymous with glamour and luxury.’

The resurgent popularity of Art Deco is also based on its practicality: a mirrored piece works with almost any interior, adding interest and depth.

The power of the mirror to create a wow impression has been recognised for centuries. 

Examples of this technique include the round mirror on the wall behind the bride and groom in Jan van Eyck’s 1434 Arnolfini Portrait in the National Gallery. It sends out the message that the couple are discerning — and wealthy.

Cheers: B&M's £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

Cheers: B&M’s £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves

The hall of mirrors in the palace of Versailles was designed to be a place of beauty, but also to display the financial resources of Louis XIV, the Sun King. Mirrors were a luxury item until an inexpensive manufacturing process was invented in the 1830s.

In 2022, it is possible to pick up mirrored pieces for under £100. B&M has a £25 oval drinks trolley with two mirrored shelves that would lend an air of Thirties elegance to any gathering. The £94.99 Ellison serving cart (a U.S. term for drinks trolley) from Wayfair has a similar vibe.

If you believe that the right mirrored trolley would save you money on trips to bars, the larger £144.95 gold oval mirrored trolley from Melody Maison could be the thing.

A mirrored cocktail cabinet will dazzle guests. The £1,200 Primrose & Plum champagne and gold cabinet has a Jazz-Age feel.

The £299 Venetian sideboard from Furniture Market, meanwhile, is a more modestly priced way to conjure up the party spirit of the Roaring Twenties.

The show flats of apartment blocks are often equipped with mirrored cocktail cabinets containing bottles of spirits and crystal glasses. This makes buyers dream of dinner parties, with a prelude of aperitifs, but also serves to make the apartment appear even roomier.

A console table in the hall also creates an illusion of space which can be amplified by the addition of a lamp. HomesDirect365 has a range in the style of almost every era including Art Deco, Regency, the 1960s and the 1970s. Prices start at £233.

The bedroom is often the most cramped room in either a house or flat which is why this can be the best place to experiment with mirrored furniture. 

The desire to preserve family harmony is another reason. The other members of your household may prefer the kitchen and living room to be slick and understated, seeing anything mirrored as excessive.

In the bedroom, however, you can indulge your decor fantasies. Habitat has the one-drawer Hepburn bedside table for £76.

Next offers the antique effect Fleur bedside table which costs £225 for the one-drawer version and £275 for the two-drawer version. 

The Fleur is also available as a six-drawer chest for £599 or a £1,150 double wardrobe if you seek to waft around your bedroom channelling your inner 1930s Hollywood screen siren. 

Dunelm’s Venetian mirrored dressing table also offers a chance to live out your dream of silver screen stardom (£449).

If mirrored furniture has brought out your party animal, kindling a passion for Art Deco in every guise, Divine Savages offers Deco Martini wallpaper whose design is based on the geometric forms, with a hidden Martini glass within the print (£150 per roll).

Some of your guests may not be too busy checking out their reflections on the doors of the mirrored cabinet to notice this subtle and witty detail in the wallpaper.

Savings of the week! water jugs… Up to 52% off 

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is half-price at £22

Sitting outside on a sunny afternoon is already delightful. But it is even more enjoyable if you are sipping on a cool drink or an iced coffee from a generously sized jug, or maybe even a Pimm’s. The arrival of the July sales means bargains abound.

If you prioritise practicality, Ocado’s textured lustre plastic picnic jug has 33 per cent off at £8.

The price of the pleasingly geometric plastic smoky-grey Prism jug from Wayfair is 16 per cent off at £10.10. 

If you would like to feel as if you are in the south of France, John Lewis has the plain glass Arles wicker-wrapped jug. It is reduced from £25 to £12, down 52 per cent.

Wanting something more elegant that you can also use for flowers? The Sandvig hammered-glass jug from made.com is also half-price at £22.

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VGP acquires French logistics development

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VGP NV and VALGO signed an agreement to purchase 32 hectares of land that housed the former Petroplus refining units in Petit-Couronne, near Rouen. This brownfield rehabilitation project is fully in line with VGP’s core expertise and strategy. Thanks to the six years ownership of the site by VALGO and its expertise in asbestos removal, soil and water table decontamination, in-situ waste treatment and development, this area has now become a suitable site for the development of new industries and business activities.

 

On the banks of the river Seine and close to the A13 highway, the 32-hectare area of land offers its future users a highly strategic location. Following the extensive depollution work carried out by VALGO, the site is now ready for redevelopment. VGP expanded into France only a few months ago and is delighted to start its French business activities in the dynamic Rouen Normandy metropolis area, via this major project. In total, around 150,000m² of land are set to be redeveloped to accommodate industrial and logistics projects, with work due to begin in 2023.

 

Jan Van Geet, CEO VGP, said: “VGP is delighted to begin its business activities in France on a site as exceptional as this one, with strong economic and environmental ambitions that are shared by both our partner, VALGO, and the local authorities. As the rehabilitation of brownfield sites is at the heart of our business, this project is a great opportunity for us to deploy our industrial and logistical know-how. The uncertain geopolitical situation and the rise in transport prices mean that companies are increasingly looking for local support to start their business. In this context, we strongly believe in the relevance of our integrated model with a long-term vision. We are now eager to get to work and bring all the expertise of the Group to the project.”

 

Francois Bouche, CEO VALGO, commented: “We are delighted that this huge piece of land has been sold to a major investor with experience in redeveloping brownfields in Europe. However, I would first like to celebrate the work of the men and women who worked so hard to make this colossal project a success. It took more than 1 million hours and over €60m in investment by VALGO to turn the page on over 80 years of refining on this site, which already employs 600 people.”

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