Ashfield

UK's leading independent
Invasive Species advisor

Property Care Association’s only
approved independent surveyor

Flooding

The start of 2020 saw severe flooding in the towns and villages of South Wales, including many of our client’s sites and public parks in Cardiff, close to our offices.  Initial surveys undertaken by AJK along the River Taf identified viable knotweed material deposited by the receding waters some 60m from the main river channel!  Areas of complete washout of riverbanks have been also noted during our surveys, however banks impacted by Japanese knotweed appeared to have remained largely stable other than surface erosion.  Therefore we have decided to undertake research on the impact of the recent flooding on the mobilisation of terrestrial invasive species, using our pre-flooding surveys on our Client’s sites and surveys available on public record.  We also want to better understand if invasive species, specifically Japanese knotweed, reduces the risk of bank collapses during these events.

The draft aims of the research project are as follows:

  • Gain a better understanding of the impact of flooding on the mobilisation of invasive species.
  • Estimate the cost associated with invasive species due to flood events.
  • Does the management of Japanese knotweed on riverbanks increase the risk of bank collapse?

If you have any pre-flooding surveys of land adjacent to the River Taf or River Cynon or can provide strong anecdotal evidence regarding new areas of Japanese knotweed and Himalayan Balsam, due to flooding along these rivers, please feel free to get in touch.

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Domestic Review 2019

Ashfield Japanese Knotweed has undertaken a review of our domestic projects in 2019 and identified the following statistics:

On 64% of the properties we surveyed we advised that no further management works were required or advised that a third party land owner was responsible for managing identified Japanese knotweed due to encroachment. This demonstrates the value to Clients of having an independent assessment of the impact of Japanese knotweed at a property, even when a valuation surveyor; contractor; or mortgage provider has recommended further works.

For 35% of the properties we surveyed recommended herbicide management to control the Japanese knotweed at the property and/or to facilitate a mortgage application. On tendering the recommended works we saw an average, saving of £1,600 per property on contractors’ quotes for herbicide projects. As part of our survey costs, where Japanese knotweed management is required, we always tender works to at least three Property Care Association approved contractors on behalf of our Clients.

Only 1% of properties surveyed required excavation of Japanese knotweed and on tendering these works, an average saving of £33,000 per property was identified to the benefit of our Clients.

In conclusion, 2 in 3 properties surveyed by Ashfield Japanese Knotweed Limited resulted in no further works being required. Where further works were required our Clients didn’t have to take the day off work to allow three contractors to the property, to ensure they obtained a competitive quote, we tendered the works on their behalf with savings of between £1,600 and £33,000. We also ensured all works were undertaken by a Property Care Association approved contractor with works supported by a ten year insurance backed guarantee.

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Domestic Review 2018

Ashfield Japanese Knotweed has undertaken a review of our domestic projects in 2018 and identified the following statistics:

On 50% of the properties we surveyed we advised that no further management works were required or advised that a third party land owner was responsible for managing identified Japanese knotweed due to encroachment.  This demonstrates the value to Clients of having an independent assessment of the impact of Japanese knotweed at a property, even when a valuation surveyor; contractor; or mortgage provider has recommended further works.

For 44% of the properties we surveyed recommended herbicide management to control the Japanese knotweed at the property and/or to facilitate a mortgage application.  On tendering the recommended works we saw an average saving of £3,050 on contractors’ quotes for herbicide projects.  As part of our survey costs, where Japanese knotweed management is required, we always tender works to at least three Property Care Association approved contractors on behalf of our Clients.

Only 6% of properties surveyed required excavation of Japanese knotweed and on tendering these works an average saving of £29,705 was identified to the benefit of our Clients.

In conclusion, 1 in 2 properties surveyed by Ashfield Japanese Knotweed Limited resulted in no further works being required.  Where further works was required, our Clients didn’t have to take the day off work/stay at home to allow three contractors to the property to ensure they obtained a competitive quote, we tendered the works on their behalf with savings of between £3,050 and £29,705.  We also ensured all works were undertaken by a Property Care Association approved contractor with works supported by a ten year insurance backed guarantee.

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Domestic Savings 2017

We have now reviewed our domestic projects for 2017 to look at the value we have provided to our domestic clients.  On average in 2017, 1 in 3 surveys undertaken by Ashfield Japanese Knotweed had led to no further works at a property even when a home buyer’s valuation survey has recommended further works supported by a guarantee is required. Where further works have been required, we have ensured the minimum required works are specified and have tendered the works to three Property Care Association approved contractors on behalf of our clients.  With the average cost difference of £3,800 between contractors for herbicide management of Japanese knotweed, our tendering process ensures the client gets value for money. We would always recommend an independent survey of a property prior to engaging a contractor to ensure works at a property are actually needed and if they are, that you get the best price for the works. Continue Reading

Domestic Savings in 2016

We have now reviewed our domestic projects for 2016 to look at the value we have brought to our domestic clients. Over the last twelve months we have saved our domestic clients an average of £2,200 on the management of Japanese knotweed at their property.  We have been able to provide these savings by the following means: 
  •  Our survey report demonstrating that Japanese knotweed local to the property does not present a risk to the mortgage lender;
  •  Demonstrating that Japanese knotweed impacting a property is the legal responsibility of adjacent land/homeowners;
  • Ensuring an independent assessment of the required Japanese knotweed management has been undertaken; and
  • Where required, tendering works to at least three Property Care Association contractors.
This demonstrates the value of an independent surveyor undertaking the initial survey as there is no commercial gain from their recommendations. This also ensures you can get three quotes without the need for three visits from three contractors on three different days. We have also provided reassurance to buyers purchasing a property where a Japanese knotweed management plan is already in place by ensuring it is appropriate and being undertaken by a reputable company. In 2017 we will continue to ensure our clients are only undertaking works absolutely necessary and are getting the best value from the market place. Continue Reading

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