When the Environment Agency withdrew its ‘Knotweed Code of Practice’ in 2016 the industry took on the mantle of providing best practice guidance on managing knotweed. The two industry trade bodies (PCA & INNSA) produced their own codes that provide the highest shared standards of best practice.
It’s important to note, that these Codes of Practice (as did the original EA Code) do not, in themselves, have any statutory or regulatory weight; they are simply a statement of best practice. However, there is legislation which controls the sale, spread and disposal of Japanese knotweed.
The Original Knotweed Code of Practice
In 2006 the Environment Agency (EA) published a best practice document entitled “Managing Japanese knotweed on Development Sites – the knotweed code of practice”. Claimed to be the most downloaded document in the history of the Environment Agency, the Code of Practice represented the highest shared standards of best practice within the knotweed removal industry. Its purpose was guidance for contractors, developers and property/land owners on how best to manage Japanese knotweed, as there was no official guidance prior to the codes publication in 2006.
It was most recently revised in 2013 to reflect changes in practice and legislation but withdrawn in July 2016 because the Environment Agency no longer provides best practice guidance (on the basis that the EA now falls under the banner of DEFRA).
Existing Japanese knotweed Government Guidance
The government continues to provide guidance on preventing the spread of Japanese knotweed and other invasive non-native plants, and provides information on treatment of these plants.
Guidance: Prevent harmful weeds and invasive non-native plants spreading
How to identify, control and dispose of plants that can harm livestock and the environment. For more detailed information on non-native species it refers to the Non-Natives Species Secretariat website. Applies to England and last updated 30 March 2016.
Guidance: Prevent Japanese knotweed from spreading
How to identify, control and dispose of Japanese knotweed. Applies to England and Wales and last updated 17 November 2017
Guidance: Treatment and disposal of invasive non-native plants: RPS 178
This regulatory position statement (RPS) applies if you want to dispose of invasive non-native plant material, and the substrate in which it is rooted, on-site without a permit via burial or burning. Applies to England and last updated 23 November 2016
NEW Knotweed Codes of Practice
In 2010 UK mortgage lenders deemed knotweed a risk to property, which could affect lending agreements. This prompted organisations such as RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and the CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) to help establish trade associations to provide accredited knotweed contractors to resolve knotweed risk problems. As a result the Property Care Association’s ‘Invasive Weed Control Group’ (PCA), and the Invasive Non-Native Species Association (INNSA) industry trade bodies were formed.
With the withdrawal of the EA Code of Practice the EA have handed best practice guidance over to the industry, with both trade bodies writing their own knotweed codes of practice:
PCA - Code of Practice for the Management of Japanese Knotweed
The PCA published its ‘Code of Practice for the Management of Japanese Knotweed’ in 2013 and it was updated in 2018 to its current version.
The code draws on the experience and expertise of its contractor members to further the guidance given by the EA and provide a standard of best practice within the industry. The Code of Practice is freely available to the public, so developers and property/land owners can see the high standards to which PCA members are held and the quality of service they can expect to receive.
INNSA - Code of Practice, Managing Japanese Knotweed
INNSA published its ‘Code of Practice, Managing Japanese Knotweed’ in April 2017.
The code maintains and develops the EA Code of Practice document with updates and INNSA’s standards for managing Japanese knotweed. The INNSA Knotweed Code of Practice is available to download from the INNSA website. It provides those involved in the industry or who encounter knotweed with a standard of best practice.
Japanese Knotweed Ltd and the Codes of Practice
So, you might be asking if Japanese Knotweed Ltd follow these Codes of Practice. In short, yes we do.
Both codes provide a shared best practice within the industry. Both also include specific requirements for member contractors but this is in addition to the best practice guidance.
Japanese Knotweed Ltd is a member of the PCA and assiduously follows the PCA Code of Practice, which in turn also allows our customers to benefit from insurance backed guarantees.
With over 4,000 contracts to fulfil each year we adhere to the codes of practice and have a proven track record in working successfully for local authorities, developers, construction companies and private landowners. We have many happy customers. Here is what our customers say about us:
When the EA withdrew its ‘Knotweed Code of Practice’ the industry provided best practice guidance and produced two new codes. One is written and published by the PCA and the other is written and published by INNSA.
Both codes provide the highest shared standards of best practice within the knotweed removal industry.
Contractors affiliated to the PCA or INNSA will follow these codes of practice. In selecting a knotweed contractor you should therefore first ensure they are an affiliated member to one of these bodies. We would also advise that in finding and evaluating a contractor you:
- Educate yourself a little on the subject, so you can ask relevant questions when you call the companies. We’ve conveniently listed useful sources on our website. Take a look here.
- Look at online feedback, such as Trustpilot
- You might have friends or neighbours that have used a knotweed removal company – ask them for their feedback
- Talk to two or more knotweed removal companies and obtain quotes
- Find out if there is a charge for a survey
- Find out what the price includes (e.g. insurance backed guarantee)
Japanese Knotweed Ltd is an expert in Japanese knotweed. From our expert free advice, knotweed identification, survey, treatment and removal, you’ll be cared for by consummate professionals. Contact us today – we can help: 0333 2414 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.