Japanese knotweed

It is an offence to plant Japanese knotweed in the wild or cause it to grow in the wild, but it is not illegal to have Japanese knotweed on your land.  People are not required to remove it or control it on their own land and there is no requirement to notify the presence of Japanese knotweed to anyone. 

Therefore the council cannot take action where there is Japanese knotweed present on private property, or where it is affecting another private property, or there is a concern that it may affect or devalue private property. This is a civil matter between the parties involved.

What you should do if there is Japanese knotweed:

On your property

If you identify Japanese knotweed on your property, you should aim to control the plant and you must prevent it spreading to neighbouring land or property. You could be taken to court if you allow it to spread onto someone else’s property.  

The council does not have a service to identify and treat Japanese knotweed on private property.  You can find further information on identification, control and disposal of knotweed on websites including Gov.uk, Royal Horticultural Society and the GB Non-native Species Secretariat, or you can contact a specialist contractor to advise you.

If you are a tenant, contact your housing officer, housing association or landlord to report the issue.

Under no circumstances should Japanese knotweed waste be placed in domestic waste bins or fly tipped elsewhere.

On your neighbour’s property

If you are concerned that Japanese knotweed on your neighbour’s land might spread onto your land, try and speak to them as they might not realise there’s an issue. You may wish to recommend that they put in place a management programme to control the spread of the plant on to your property.

If this is not successful, you could consider mediation as a way to resolve the matter.

If the issue is still not resolved, you could consider taking your own private nuisance action through the courts. It is recommended you seek legal advice before initiating any court action.

The council cannot arrange or take part in any private mediation or private court action.

On land around a railway

If you find Japanese knotweed next to a railway line, embankment or station, you can contact Network Rail and ask them to treat the problem.

On council land

If you are concerned about Japanese knotweed on council land, you can let us know by calling us on 01189 373787, or you can complete the ‘Report a street problem’ form.

The council’s Parks Team treat and manage Japanese knotweed on council-owned land, but it does not routinely treat knotweed on land not owned by the council. You will need to contact the relevant land owner or take your own private legal action.  

Last updated on 11/07/2023