A new tracker that will identify where Japanese knotweed has been found across the UK is up and running.
Environet UK has developed the Japanese Knotweed Heatmap to build a picture of local sightings of the invasive plant.
Chartered surveyors who carry out RICS Level 3 Surveys on properties can use the heatmap to assess any potential risk to a property or site, ensuring buyers in residential property transactions are better informed about the plant.
Users can pop in a postcode to find out how many reported sightings of Japanese knotweed have been noted in that area, with hotspot highlighted in red or yellow.
Anyone intending to buy a home in an area with a large number of noted sightings of the plant could then instruct a Japanese knotweed survey that would examine the specific risk posed to their intended purchase.
Known hotspots include Cardiff, the Isle of Wight, Bristol and Manchester. Users of the site can add sightings and upload pictures of the invader so that its presence can be verified by experts.
Building a nationwide picture
Nic Seal, of Environet, said: “This heatmap will enable us to build a nationwide picture of the Japanese knotweed problem and help property professionals assess the risk locally when dealing with residential property transactions.
“High-risk results should prompt further investigation with an on-site Japanese knotweed survey.
“The site is already well-populated, but this is an ongoing project. The more people who report sightings, the more effective it will become.”
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