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A very knotty problem

By Amanda McCaw on Thursday 5th October, 2017
In 1847 Japanese Knotweed was named the "most interesting new ornamental plant of the year"; by 1854 the plant was being sold commercially by nurseries. Today the story is very different. The plant is a thug. It has no respect for boundaries, forcing its way through walls, roads and foundations, moving where it likes, and spreading with alarming speed. Figures vary, but it's believed to cost homeowners and the state over 150m a year to remove. It blights property, and drives the owners of property in which it resides to despair and desperation. As a homeowner, you should be aware of the basic Japanese Knotweed facts. What does it look like? It first appears as reddy/purple shoots, and rapidly turns into a dense growth of green, purple-speckled, bamboo like stems, growing up to around 7' or 8' tall within a few months. The leaves are heart or shovel-shaped, up to 20cms across. The stems are hollow, and there are small creamy white flowers from August to October. In the autumn, the leaves start to turn yellow, and the stems start to turn brown. What should you do if you think you have it? Whatever you do, don't ignore it and hope it will go away - it won't! The earlier you can catch knotweed, the less difficult it is to deal with it. If you think it's growing in your grounds, you should seek expert advice. Good starting points are the Non-Native Specialists Association (NNSA) or the Property Care Association (PCA).It is possible to treat Japanese Knotweed yourself, but it's a difficult task. If you fail to eradicate it completely, root segments can lie dormant for years, returning to cause more problems later. Digging it out of the ground can just cause it to spread. There are two views on the best course of action - digging up the roots, or spraying with the industrial-strength weed killer glyphosate. Or a combination of both. Either way, consult a professional, and establish the facts, and the likely costs. What should you do if you spot it locally? If you think you've spotted Japanese Knotweed in an adjacent garden, you should take action as it easily spreads across boundaries. If they don't take action, report it to your local Council. They, or the police, can issue a Community Protection Notice (CPN) forcing them to deal with it. Why is it so important? The plant is incredibly destructive to buildings and foundations. Properties are being blighted by Japanese Knotweed, making them difficult to sell. Mortgage providers frequently refuse to lend on a property if the survey mentions the plant - they will insist on the problem being eradicated by a professional before they grant a loan. And if you allow Japanese Knotweed to spread from your own land to neighbouring ground, your neighbours could take action against you. What Streetwise can do to help At Streetwise Environmental, we provide a treatment programme for Japanese Knotweed which involves removing as much of the root as possible, and injecting any remaining stems with a specialist herbicide, Glyphosate, to prevent further growth. All waste is removed from the site and taken to a specialist licensed tip to be burnt in accordance with the current legislation. We then monitor the effect of the treatment and follow-up with further treatments if necessary. For advice or an individual quotation, call us on 0115 9148408 or email us at streetwise@streetwiseenvironmental.co.uk Useful links Occurrence records map: https://species.nbnatlas.org/species/NHMSYS0000458716 Environment Agency advice www.gov.uk/guidance/prevent-japanese-knotweed-from-spreading The Streetwise Team

Community Project at Church Croft in West Bridgford

By Amanda McCaw on Tuesday 22nd August, 2017
Streetwise Environmental currently work closely with Metropolitan Housing Trust to deliver their Grounds Maintenance, Cleansing Services and additional works such as tree and arboricultural services. We also work with Metropolitan on social added value projects, with the aim of giving back to the community, and encouraging participation by the elderly or compromised. One recent scheme we have completed is a community project at Church Croft, a retirement housing development managed by Metropolitan in West Bridgford. Residents wanted a project that could involve everybody in an outside activity. Streetwise employees Billy and Zoe assessed the site, and offered advice on what would be possible. It was agreed that an allotment area would be created where residents could grow their own plants and vegetables. Streetwise prepared the land, provided seeds and plants, and worked with residents, offering advice and help with the planting. The allotment has been a huge success. It's a place that residents can interact socially, enjoy activity and fresh air, and appreciate the fruits of their labours. Harvesting a range of vegetables including potatoes, beans and tomatoes, and picking fresh flowers, has been incredibly satisfying for all concerned. Amy Frost, Project Support Officer at Church Croft said, 'It was really good working with Streetwise. We explained what the customers at Church Croft wanted and they came down to look at the site and give advice and highlight potential problems. Billy and Zoe were very supportive and helped kick start the project which would have been an overwhelming job without them.' John Scott-Lee, Managing Director of Streetwise Environmental said, 'It's wonderful to be able to make contributions like this to our local community and see such positive outcomes, with residents enjoying a peaceful green space away from their everyday lives.' Here's to future harvests! The Streetwise Team

Lark in the Park - Wednesday 2nd August

By Amanda McCaw on Thursday 27th July, 2017
Lark in the Park is one of Rushcliffe Borough Council's biggest family play day events. It's their 29th annual celebration of National Play Day, this year with a Go Wild theme. It's a free day of family fun, held in Bridgford Park, West Bridgford. Come along and discover fun ways to explore, play, and get creative in the great outdoors. Get muddy, and get up close to nature. There's a whole host of child friendly attractions such as arts and craft workshops, have-a-go sports activities, walkabout entertainers, classes and stage shows. Admission is free, but there's a charge for fairground rides and inflatables. At Streetwise Environmental, we think we've come up with a cunning plan to attract a whole new generation of horticulturalists! Come and visit our stand to find out all about growing plants. Talk to our experts, and help them plant up seedlings which will be used around the Borough. You will get to take away a fantastic goody bag that includes your own potted seedling, instructions on how to look after it at home, and how to plant it in your own garden. You will also get a free calendar that reminds you what you should be doing in your garden every month. The fun starts at 10am on Wednesday 2nd August, and goes on until 4pm. Parking is available on Bridge Field, Bridgford Road, and costs £3 for the day. Regular bus services operate from the city centre and across Rushcliffe to West Bridgford. For more information about public transport visit www.traveline.info We look forward to seeing you there - bring your wellies and don't wear your best clothes - you might get messy! Don't forget to come and see us at the Streetwise Environmental stand. The Streetwise Team