Home > Japanese Knotweed – the decorative plant now an actionable nuisance

Japanese Knotweed – the decorative plant now an actionable nuisance

20th September 2018

Japanese Knotweed – the decorative plant now an actionable nuisance

When Japanese knotweed was introduced in the nineteenth century as a decorative garden plant, no-one could have guessed that it would run rampant and become the scourge of landowners and developers.

It is listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst invasive species.   The invasive root system and strong growth can damage concrete foundations, buildings, flood defences, roads, paving, retaining walls and architectural sites. It can also reduce the capacity of channels in flood defences to carry water.  It is a frequent colonizer of temperate riparian ecosystems, roadsides, railway lines and waste places.

Hardwicke has been at the forefront of the development of recent case law, such as Andy Creer acting for Network Rail in Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Williams and Waistell [2018] EWCA Civ 1514.  John Clargo and Andrew Skelly also have significant experience in this area.

The Property team have written a number of articles including:

We have also held a number of seminars on the topic, most recently Knotweed: Law & Practice which was so successful, it is being repeated on 28th November 2018.  Guest speakers, Dr Dan Jones and Dan Clugston from Advanced Invasives, looked at the latest scientific research on JKW, including the results from their own extensive field trials conducted with the Department of Biosciences from Swansea University.  The talks covered:

  • Liability in claims for property damage.
  • Best practice in JKW management and control.
  • Claims and remedies in light of the Court of Appeal decision.

We have also run Floods & fires to sinkholes and knotweed: the current state of liability in Rylands v Fletcher, nuisance and negligence.

If you would like more information on instructing us,  please contact the Practice management team.  If you would like details of the articles and talks, please contact events@hardwicke.co.uk.


Please note that we do not give legal advice on individual cases which may relate to this content other than by way of formal instruction of a member of Hardwicke.  However if you have any other queries about this content please contact:

Sally Wollaston
Sally Wollaston
Business Development and Marketing Director