Trade Association sets out Invasive Weed Control Conference agenda

Leading figures from across the public and private sectors will be discussing cutting-edge strategies to deal with non-native invasive plants at a national trade body conference.

The Property Care Association’s second annual Invasive Weed Conference features informed speakers with expertise in areas including law, academia, ecology and technology.

Entitled ‘Risk, Roots and Research’ the event takes place on 22 November at the Institution of Engineering Technology (IET) Savoy Place, London.

Last year’s inaugural conference, held by the PCA’s specialist Invasive Weed Control Group, attracted a full house.

Based on this success, the PCA has continued the formula for the event, with a three session format offering an up-to-date insight into some of the main issues impacting the management of key invasive weeds across the UK due to changes in legislation, technology and expectations.

The first session, ‘Risk’ includes legal insight from barrister Leo Charalambides.

There’s also an update on the current situation regarding Japanese knotweed and property risk from James Ginley, Head of Professional Risk at Legal and General.

The second session, ‘Roots’ includes an understanding of surveying and mapping invasive non-native species from Dr Mark Fennell, Principal Ecologist at AECOM, as well as an overview of the management of invasive weed remediation works from Richard Newis of Ashfield Japanese Knotweed.

A response to the growing issue of aquatic invasive plants will also be presented in this session by Dr Johan van Valkenburg of the National Plant Protection Organisation, the Netherlands.

The final session, ‘Research’ features Dr Richard Shaw of CABI UK, Dr Daniel Jones of Swansea University and Dr John Bailey, formerly of the University of Leicester who will cover topics including biocontrol and physiochemical control optimisation.

The conference will then draw to a close with a panel debate featuring Network Rail’s Dr Neil Strong, Trevor Renals of the Environment Agency, Barbara Whitcombe of Leicester City Council, Rodger Burnett of Charles Lyndon and Paul Cutbill of Countrywide Surveying Services.

Reflecting the significance of invasive non-native weeds to a wide-range of professionals, the conference is relevant to local authorities, statutoryjapanese-knotweed agencies, the rail, road and port industries, lawyers, utility companies, estate managers, house builders and developers, landlords, estate agents, housing associations, property agents, academia, surveyors and asset managers.

A full programme and booking form for the event can be downloaded at

Professor Max Wade, Chairman of the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group, said: “A lack of information is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the effective management of Japanese knotweed and other non-native invasive plants in the UK.

“Our intention is to offer a level-headed and evidence based approach to tackling the issue and create a platform for delegates to access a wide-range of expertise from high calibre, informed sources.

“This conference offers a significant opportunity to access the latest thinking, research and knowledge at a single event.”