AN INTERACTIVE map revealing Wiltshire's hotspots for one of the UK's most invasive plants has been revealed.

After its winter hibernation, Japanese knotweed enters its spring growth phase and experts have issued a warning to property owners as the intrustive plant can grow at an alarming rate of around 10cm a day.

Pushing up through cracks in concrete, driveways, patios, paths, drains and even the cavity walls of our homes, Japanese knotweed can reduce a property’s value by 10 per cent.

It can also make properties difficult to sell, unless a professional treatment plan is in place with an insurance-backed guarantee to satisfy mortgage lenders.

How does the map work?

Japanese Knotweed. Picture: PA

Japanese Knotweed. Picture: PA

How does the map work?

A new online tracker, created by Environet, unveils the latest hotspots in the UK, informing homeowners and potential homebuyers of the local presence of knotweed and the potential risk to their property.

Users can enter a postcode to discover the number of reported knotweed sightings nearby, with hotspots highlighted in yellow or red.

Some of the Wiltshire Japanese knotweed infestations within a 4km radius for 2021 are:

Chippenham - 12

Salisbury - eight

Swindon - five

Warminster - four

Trowbridge - three

Amesbury - two

Wilton - two

How to spot and fight Japanese knotweed

According to Environet’s research, approximately 5 per cent of homes are currently affected, either directly or indirectly through a neighboring affected property, knocking around £20 billion off UK house prices.

Homeowners spending more time in their gardens this spring may notice purple or red asparagus-like shoots now emerging from the ground and quickly growing into lush green shrubs with heart or shovel-shaped leaves and pink-flecked stems.

The general public can help in the fight against knotweed by reporting suspicious plants using the heatmap’s ‘Add Sighting’ feature and attaching a photo to be verified by experts.

Property owners who fail to stop the spread of knotweed on their land can face fines and even a jail sentence under ASBO legislation.

To view Japanese knotweed infestations in your area or to report a sighting click here.