We were employed as the Japanese knotweed specialist contractors on a very large, ecologically sensitive construction site in Surrey. Despite incessant wet weather, badger setts, slow worms and asbestos, works to excavate and remove 975m2 of Japanese knotweed from the site were completed on schedule.
After successfully winning the knotweed works tender with the developer we were invited to Pre-Start Meetings with the Borough Council, developer and an ecologist. At these meetings we were informed of the ecological status of the site. As works were to be carried out during winter, it was noted that some areas due for knotweed excavation were potential hibernation sites for slow worms. Our excavation operations team worked with all parties to amend the method of works to allow for the management of potential slow worm presence.
As the knotweed excavations were programmed to take place ahead of the construction of the site, we were appointed Principal Contractor (PC). As PC we were compliant with CDM regulations, securing the site, overseeing other site works being conducted at the time (tree felling), managing site access and vehicle movements and providing welfare facilities. As this was a multi-hectare site we used banksmen and supervisors who stayed in communication via two-way radio.
Prior to commencement of works, site specific Risk Assessments and a Method Statement (RAMS) where agreed and drawn up and all works were conducted in accordance to the RAMS.
On the first day of works, our Excavations Site Supervisor gave a Tool Box Talk to all site staff to ensure everyone understood the project, specifications, risks and methods.
The Japanese knotweed excavation works were coordinated with an ecologist who was present on site to identify any slow worms. All potential hibernation sites for the slow worms within knotweed contaminated areas were hand dug in shallow layers under ecologist supervision. Over 330 tonnes of soil was hand dug on the project.
Half way into the project works were unexpectedly stopped due to our staff finding suspected asbestos, which was reported to our client. Japanese Knotweed Ltd staff work on all types of sites and are trained to identify all types of asbestos. Asbestos specialists were contracted who confirmed its presence and safely removed it to allow knotweed works to continue.
3322 tonnes of knotweed contaminated soil were removed from site resulting in the successful eradication of knotweed, to programme schedule, and allowing for free unhindered next stage development of the site.
Just as importantly we are also glad to report that no badgers or slow worms were harmed or made homeless by these works.
Site diaries, waste transfer tickets, stage site photos and site plans showing completed works were added to the Knotweed Management Plan and submitted to our client for recording in the operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals for the site.
About Japanese Knotweed Ltd
Japanese Knotweed Ltd are the UK's trusted Japanese knotweed experts with a proven track record in working successfully for local authorities, developers, construction companies and private landowners.
Our highly knowledgeable and skilled staff provide a comprehensive service and are committed to providing the highest level of customer care.
We provide Surveys and Knotweed Management Plans, including for long term chemical treatment, guarantees and immediate excavation options. Our remedial methods are tailored to each site and provide sensible and efficient eradication solutions to meet all requirements.