Residents say they’re living in a scene from a horror movie after Japanese knotweed encompassed a park and started to spread towards their homes.
The fast-growing plant has taken over Brickfields Park, which is part of Worcester’s King George V Playing Fields, with locals describing it as something out of “Day of the Triffids”.
Locals claimed the issue has been ignored by the council and left unresolved, with many worried the weed will soon invade their homes, knocking thousands of pounds off the value of their properties .
Dennis Hodson, a retired gardener who lives in a £200,000 bungalow in Tunnel Hill which backs onto the fields, said the weed was out of control.
He said: “The knotweed has gone rampant in the park and it’s coming up in our gardens now, including mine which is just 20 metres away. It’s a bit of a nightmare.
“It’s happening in Elder Close as well as Tunnel Hill. It’s getting to about six feet tall in the park and I’ve tried calling the council, but they haven’t done anything.
“The plant is just about to seed which will spread it even further. The time to act is now. I also spoke to groundsmen in the park and they told me it wasn’t anything to do with them.
“Two or three years ago they used to cut it back, which is never going to get rid of it, but now they’re not even doing that.
“I managed to remove it from my borders a few years ago using a strong weed killer but it just comes back.”
Another resident added that he’s worried about the value of his property: “The knotweed just keeps getting closer and closer to our homes.
“It’s like a scene from The Day of the Triffids and the mixture of the very hot weather and then heavy rain has just made it grow out of control.
“The council do nothing to help and we all worry about the impact it’s having on the value of our homes.
“I certainly wouldn’t want to buy a house which is at risk of being taken over by this thing.”
Japanese knotweed is the most common of four invasive plant species in the UK and can grow 10cm a day.
The damage it can cause to buildings and infrastructure has meant certain lenders are denying mortgages due to the presence of Japanese knotweed making it significantly harder for homeowners to sell their homes.
Once the weed is established, it could take four years to completely get rid of it with experts even treating cuttings as licensed hazardous waste.
A spokesperson for Worcester City Council said: “We are aware of the Japanese knotweed growing at King George V Playing Fields and our specially-trained staff will stem-inject the plants in the coming days.
“It will take a few weeks to die off and we will do a follow-up treatment in a month and another next year to ensure it is dealt with.
“If this Japanese knotweed has spread to properties from the playing fields, then residents can get in touch with us and we can treat it accordingly.”