GARDENERS may notice an unusual weed growing as they spend more time in the garden during the current lockdown.

Japanese knotweed is notoriously difficult to treat without professional help.

According to Environet UK, approximately 4 to 5 per cent of the UK’s houses are currently affected. In Worcestershire, Worcester has the highest number of infestations per 4km, at 43, according to Environet UK. Second is Bromsgrove at 31, then Kidderminster with 28, Droitwich at 25 and Redditch with 15.

Nic Seal, founder of Environet, said, “Our message to homeowners who discover Japanese knotweed in their garden is not to panic and resist the temptation to deal with it themselves. In most cases knotweed can still be removed during the lockdown period, but if this isn’t possible it won’t make a huge amount of difference to leave the plant growing until restrictions are lifted. A failed attempt to dig it up could help it spread.”