Angry locals say Japanese knotweed has taken over a park and is creeping toward their homes like scenes from the horror movie “The Day of the Triffids”.
Residents fear the fast-growing plant will knock thousands of dollars of the value of their properties unless the problem is tackled.
They have blasted council bosses for repeatedly ignoring their pleas for help to stop the
“eyesore” weed invading their homes.
Residents say the weed is growing out of control in Brickfields Park, which is part of King George V Playing Fields, in Worcester.
Retired gardener Dennis Hodson, 73, lives in a 200,000 British pounds ($240,000) bungalow in Tunnel Hill which backs onto the fields.
He said: “The knotweed has gone rampant in the park and it’s coming up in our gardens now, including mine which is just 20 meters [65 feet] away. It’s a bit of a nightmare.
“It’s happening in Elder Close as well as Tunnel Hill.
“It’s getting to about six-foot tall in the park and I’ve tried calling the council, but they haven’t done anything.
“The plant is just about to seed which will spread it even further. The time to act is now.
“I also spoke to groundsmen in the park and they told me it wasn’t anything to do with them.
“Two or three years ago they used to cut it back, which is never going to get rid of it, but now they’re not even doing that.
“I managed to remove it from my borders a few years ago using a strong weed killer but it just comes back.”
Another resident added: “The knotweed just keeps getting closer and closer to our homes.
“It’s like a scene from The Day of the Triffids and the mixture of the very hot weather and then heavy rain has just made it grow out of control.
“The council do nothing to help and we all worry about the impact it’s having on the value of our homes.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to buy a house which is at risk of being taken over by this thing.”
Japanese knotweed is the most common of four invasive plants species in the U.K. and was introduced to the country from Japan as an ornamental plant in 1825.
Japanese knotweed can grow 10 centimeters (4 inches) a day and cause severe damage to buildings and infrastructure if left unchecked.
It can make it significantly harder for homeowners to secure a mortgage or sell their home.
And once the weed is established, it’s so difficult to get rid of that experts treat cuttings as licensed hazardous waste.
A spokesperson for Worcester City Council said: “We are aware of the Japanese knotweed growing at King George V Playing Fields and our specially-trained staff will stem-inject the plants in the coming days.
“It will take a few weeks to die off and we will do a follow-up treatment in a month and another next year to ensure it is dealt with.
“If this Japanese knotweed has spread to properties from the playing fields, then residents can get in touch with us and we can treat it accordingly.”
Produced in association with SWNS.
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