Using Trained Dogs to Detect Japanese Knotweed

On this project they have found several areas where invasive plants particularly Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam is developing.

As it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), to allow these species to spread in the wild, they want to do everything they can to prevent any spread at all. In their efforts to prevent spreading these invasive plants on and around the site, they called upon a company who specialise in training dogs to specifically detect Japanese Knotweed.

They help by detecting the rhizomes (the underground parts of the plant such as roots, bulbs, and shoots), which when removed prevents any spread or re-growth.

All three dogs that were worked (30 mins at a time as defined by DEFRA) successfully found several areas where rhizomes were located underground.

These areas would have been missed until the next season that the plant would have sprouted. Japanese knotweed can lay dormant for up to 20 years, so using detection dogs allows them to fully clear a site, regardless of the state of the plant.

To find out more, click the link below.

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Footer Reference

Monitor Report. Balfour Beatty. London. December 2023.

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