Saturday, April 13, 2013

PCA To Launch Japanese Knotweed Code of Practice

A national framework, setting best practice in the control and eradication of Japanese Knotweed, has been developed by national trade body The Property Care Association (PCA).
‘The Code Of Practice For The Management of Japanese Knotweed’ has been drawn up by the PCA, to provide a concise and thorough guide to the management of the invasive weed
Its launch marks a further progression for the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group, set-up last year to signpost consumers to professional treatment companies offering assurance, standardisation and certainty in tackling the problem. 
The PCA worked with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) - supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders and The Building Societies Association - together with Japanese Knotweed control companies that currently operate within the UK, to develop the Invasive Weed Control Group.
This new aspect of the Association coincided with the publication of new guidance from RICS in 2012 entitled Japanese Knotweed and Residential Property, authored by Phil Parnham.
Steve Hodgson, Chief Executive Office of the PCA, said: “Publication of the code sets a new standard for an industry where stories of poor practice abound.
“Ultimately it will, together with the reassurance of PCA membership, offer further assistance to consumers who want to separate those who can control Japanese Knotweed from those who think they can.
 “This is the first time that a protocol for the investigation, reporting and treatment of this highly invasive and economically important pest plant has been written and adopted by those who are ultimately responsible for its control.
“At a stroke, it sets the standard for those involved in the control of Japanese Knotweed to aspire to, and clearly illustrates the commitment to quality, value and service members of the PCA are committed to uphold.
“The new code of practice has been developed by the most knowledgeable and experienced experts, many of whom have been successfully controlling Japanese Knotweed for their clients for years. The end result is a practical and robust standard that has been adopted by industry – which also backs up the stringent entry criteria set by the Property Care Association.”
Mark Fennell, Senior Consultant Ecologist - who has been instrumental in drafting the new Code - will introduce the document at the annual conference. 
The launch will coincide with a Speaker Programme, featuring guests including Bruce Osborne, Senior Lecturer at University College Dublin and President of the Federation of European Societies of Plant Biology (FESPB), who will be talking at the event about the threats posed from the proliferation of non-native invasive weeds, such as Japanese Knotweed, in the UK and Ireland.
Other speakers include the chairman of the Radon Council, Peter Atchison and Graham Ellis, Associate Director at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The PCA’s Speaker Programme is free of charge to all PCA members and just £25+VAT for non members. For those participating in the CPD scheme, each short seminar is worth two CPD points and there are eight points available for the whole programme.