Warnings have been issued across Northumberland as reports of Japanese knotweed have emerged ahead of schedule.

The early growth of the plant's distinctive red stems in February, which has been aided by the warm, wet weather, is a cause for concern.

The Property Care Association (PCA) has taken notice of the situation, especially because of the potential detrimental impact on native plant species.

Daniel Docking, the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group technical manager, said: "We can still expect late season frosts and dry weather in March and April, but Japanese knotweed has already started to establish itself and the resilience of the plant will mean it is in a strong position to thrive."

The Invasive Weed Control Group (ICWG) formation by the PCA provides guidance on dealing with such situations.

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Mr Docking went on to add: "As Japanese knotweed becomes more visible, we encourage anyone with concerns about the plant to seek expert help.

"Advice sought quickly will help to control and manage the situation effectively."

Furthermore, Daniel Docking states that regulations require landowners to manage infestations responsibly.

Therefore, the PCA urges individuals to find competent Certificated Surveyors in Japanese knotweed.

More details about the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group can be found at https://www.property-care.org/homeowners/invasive-weed-control/