An invasive plant has been spotted on the riverbanks opposite Worcester Cathedral.

Knotweed was discovered by 80-year-old Elizabeth Chambers, of Bromwich Road, whilst on a walk.

Mrs Chambers has concerns that the weed may spread across the river, towards the iconic city building.

She said: “I have seen it whilst going out for walks and I am surprised nobody else has commented on it.

“It is invasive, it destroys. It is almost impossible to get rid of. It ruins people's lives.”

She added: “If it's not this invasive species it looks like it. Rather worrying if it somehow travels over the river by seed it could get into the cathedral.”

According to invasive plant specialists Environet, there are 45 known infestations of the UK's most invasive plant, Japanese knotweed, within a four-kilometre radius of the cathedral however the weeds on Worcester's riverbanks have been identified as most likely giant and bohemian knotweed.

Nic Seal, the founder and managing director of Environet, has said that Mrs Chambers’ concerns are highly plausible if the situation is not dealt with promptly.

He said: “All it takes is a piece of rhizome as small as a fingernail for this incredibly resilient and invasive plant to regrow. Once established it will rapidly spread, colonising the new location and posing a threat to nearby homes and property.

“If left untreated, it’s highly possible that the knotweed will spread across the riverbank to the same side as Worcester Cathedral – so the best course of action is deal with it as soon as possible and, importantly, check upriver for any other infestations that could pose a threat in the future.

“As it’s on a riverbank herbicide treatment is one method that can be used, but great care must be taken to avoid polluting the water course by using aquatic-safe herbicides; permits will need to be obtained from the Environment Agency.”

Mr Seal added: “Japanese knotweed is the UK’s most invasive plant and is incredibly difficult to remove without professional help.

“It can pose a problem when selling (property) as it must be declared to any potential buyer, which can impact the value, and mortgage lenders will require a professional treatment plan to be in place in order for them to lend.”