Tag Archives: Japanese Knotweed

Counting the Costs of Invasive Species

JKW in Living Room Wigan

Invasive species cost the UK economy approximately £1.7 billion per annum to control or plan for (CABI, 2010). This figure, whilst carefully calculated, is predicted to be significantly less than the full economic cost as it cannot take into account and quantify many indirect costs resulting from infestations of invasive non-native species, such as the damage to ecosystem services and loss of biodiversity.

JKW Removal on Construction Site

Agriculture and horticulture bear just under two thirds of this £1.7 billon cost, with construction, development and infrastructure sectors having the second highest direct cost at approximately £212 million for Great Britain. Invasive non-native plant species inflict the highest costs to the British economy, with Japanese Knotweed being the most costly species. More information and statistics on the costs of invasive non-native species to the British economy can be found here.

Giant Hogweed LymmEmily Fisher, an undergraduate student from Manchester Metropolitan University is undertaking research on the costs of invasive species to businesses, farmers and communities in the Bollin Catchment, and also which invasive species are perceived to pose the greatest threat. She is undertaking surveys, interviews and distributing questionnaires. The results of this research will be very useful for BEACON in seeing how the local community views invasive non-native species, and where BEACON could help deliver cost savings or efficiencies.

To complete a questionnaire, which will contribute to this important research, please click here.

Dig the City Manchester

At the start of August BEACON had a stand at Dig the City in Manchester.  Dig the City in Manchester is an annual gardening festival where visitors can view show gardens, attend talks and workshops and children can make mud pies and plant seeds.  The event was really well attended and everyone enjoyed themselves.

 BEACON Dig the City Stand

BEACON had a stand at the event to spread the word to budding and experienced gardeners alike about the dangers of invasive non-native species, many of which started out as garden ornamental plants.  We had displays of garden plants that are known to be invasive, such as Crocosmia spp., Buddleja and Snowberry.

BEACON bee balsam BEACON also had examples of the better-known Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed at the stand to make more people aware of BEACON’s main work.  Even though the weather was poor, the city bees were still able to find the nectar in the Himlayan balsam on display.


Children made alien masks and played alien invader games to illustrate the point about invasive species being like aliens that are in the wrong place.   


It is hoped that BEACON will be able to attend this event next year to carry on spreading the word…not invasives 🙂

For more information on Dig the City please click here