Croxley Hall Carp Syndicate
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Croxley Hall Carp Syndicate | JAPANESE KNOTWEED

9th March 2010

A tiny Japanese insect that could help the fight against an aggressive superweed has been given the go-ahead for a trial release in England.

Since Japanese knotweed was introduced to the UK it has rapidly spread, and the plant currently costs over £150m a year to control and clear.

But scientists say a natural predator in the weed's native home of Japan could also help to control it here.

The insect will initially be released in a handful of sites this spring.

This is the first time that biocontrol - the use of a "natural predator" to control a pest - has been used in the EU to fight a weed.

Wildlife Minister Huw Irranca-Davies said: "These tiny insects, which naturally prey on Japanese Knotweed, will help free local authorities and industry from the huge cost of treating and killing this devastating plant."

Japanese knotweed can be found around many stillwater fisheries.

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