Specialist training is now available for chartered surveyors who want to improve their expertise in identifying the presence of Japanese knotweed and other invasive garden species.
The Property Care Association (PCA), the trade body for the industry, has developed the training to help professionals deal with the garden invaders.
Examining non-native species
The one-day Invasive Plant Identification Course will guide property professionals through how to identify invasive species, from growth stages to habitat and ecology, along with a refresher on current law under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Participants will examine live non-native invasive specimens that have been specifically cultivated at the PCA site at Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
Surveyors will also learn how to identify non-native species such as American skunk cabbage, giant rhubarb, creepers, buddleia and giant hogweed.
Giving property buyers options
Japanese knotweed is the best known of the non-native invasive plants that can cause structural damage.
Chartered surveyors who carry out a full building survey of a property on behalf of a buyer need to note its presence and extent of its spread to ensure the mortgage lender is aware while giving the buyer options on whether to proceed with the sale.