Glossop choked with Japanese knotweed

A Glossop group which hopes to start systematic eradication of pest plants from the town have reported that Japanese knotweed is rampant in every waterway in town except for Hurst Brook. Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant that undermines buildings and devalues land it infests. The group intend to use a community approach to try to curb the spread.

Town's waterways are 'ecological disgrace'

Hurst Brook is the only stream in Glossop that is not heavily infected with Japanese Knotweed from near its source. The Glossop Knotweed Watch Group found the plant at the highest reaches of all the streams in Glossop, except Hurst Brook. However a large clump of the plant is present in the stream close to Hurst Mill and threatens to infect the entire waterway. Elsewhere the plant is extremely common along all streams in the town and has infected many gardens and potential  development sites.

Japanese knotweed is a highly invasive plant that reduces the vaue of land it grows on and has the potential to become a very expensive problem. Although Glossop is choked with the knotweed, there have been no attempts to eradicate the plant. As a result it has become very well established along almost all of Glossop waterways.

Glossop Knotweed Watch is a community project devoted to clearing Glossop’s waterways of Japanese Knotweed in a systematic manner. Like many towns, Glossop has a serious knotweed problem. All waterways support the plant and it grows in many gardens and developed areas. People with knotweed on their property face the potential of severe financial repercussions.

Watercourses are not the only sources of knotweed infection. It also arrives when infected soil is dumped in Glossop, and it is sometimes spreads along roads.  However the primary source of infection in Glossop is clearly along waterways, and it is unfortunate that many of our streams have knotweed growing on their  uppermost reaches.

Unlike most towns, Glossop is surrounded by moorland on three sides, and all our waterways come off these moors. Knotweed does not grow on the moors and so upstream of Glossop is knotweed free. Downstream of Glossop is obviously not knotweed free, and never can be until the upper waterways are clear.

Group calls on Glossopians to fix the problems themselves

Glossop Knotweed Watch believe that it is possible to entirely eradicate not only knotweed, but maybe also Himalayan Balsam and giant hogweed from Glossop’s waterways, protecting ourselves and everybody who shares the river as far as Liverpool from the ecological and financial devastation that these plants bring.

Getting professional contractors to clear Glossop’s knotweed would cost millions of pounds. But Glossop Knotweed Watch believe that community action on the matter could make a significant difference to the knotweed situation in Glossop for as little as £15,000, and that an organised community group could easily raise the money. Eradication of knotweed from waterways is therefore the first priority of Glossop Knotweed Watch. Contact the group at GlossopKnotweed.Com

Do you know how Japanese Knotweed got to the top of Glossop streams? Tell the Glossop Gazette in confidence on 01457 866201.

Glossop residents pleading for years

Much of Glossop’s knotweed misery could have been averted if somebody had paid attention to the warnings given by Old Glossop Residents’  Association Chairman Frank Ackley. Documents seen by the Glossop Gazette show that Mr Ackley repeatedly warned local authorities about the knotweed problem in Old Glossop FIVE YEARS AGO, but they did nothing. 

A search for Japanese Knotweed on HPBC’s website showed that the plant does not exist on their database. Mr Ackley wrote repeatedly to High Peak Borough Council, and receiving no response wrote to DEFRA and the Environment Agency warning of a “serious problem” with knotweed in Old Glossop. After months of getting nowhere he wrote again to John Hacken, then Executive member for Environment:

'.. No one seems to care or want to take any action to correct the situation. It does not seem to occur to anyone that there is a serious communication problem'.

According to Glossop Knotweed Watch, Glossop has the ideal topography and landscape for eliminating harmful invasive plants, but that waiting for responsible authorities to take action is unwise. Knotweed destruction and disposal has to be done very carefully, and in full adherence to the Environment Agency’s Knotweed Code of Practice and a strict set of laws controlling the handling and disposal of chemicals and invasive plant material. But it isn’t rocket science and any Glossopian with steady hands and common sense could do it. With expert guidance from Corvus Consulting and Mampam Conservation, and local volunteers trained in the relevant techniques and with applicable licences from the National Proficiency Test Council, we will seek approval from the Environment Agency and funding from elsewhere to begin systematic eradication of Japanese knotweed from the uppermost tributaries of the Mersey Basin (i.e. Glossop).