Grandmother Mary, from Preston, received more than £27,000 after Japanese knotweed from a nearby derelict railway line encroached on her property.

The weed, which has the potential to cause severe property damage had grown in between fencing in her back garden, having started on railway tracks approximately three metres away.

But Mary, who has lived in the property for 56 years, initially thought the weed was simply another eye-catching plant thanks to its brightly coloured shoots. It was only when her gardener failed to get rid using weed killer that she realised what had been growing for the last eight years.

Mary, 80, said: “The weed had been coming through the fence for years but I just kept cutting it back myself as I assumed it was harmless. My gardener initially thought it was just another pesky weed too, but when he couldn’t treat it as usual, he looked into it and discovered it was Japanese knotweed.


KentLive – “Warning signs you could have Japanese knotweed” with CEL Solicitors’ Mark Montaldo 


“The weed had been severely damaging the fencing for a long time, but I thought I’d just have to get on with it, as I didn’t know experts could come in and remove it – and I certainly didn’t know about the potential impact on the value of my house!”

Mary worked with CEL Solicitors to claim compensation from Preston Council, in order to carry out the necessary repairs to her property.

She was awarded a total of £27,342 in damages. Mary added: “The team at CEL were extremely thorough and made sure that absolutely everything was fully explained to my daughter and me.”

“I do believe that more awareness needs to be raised about Japanese knotweed and how it can affect property prices and grow very quickly. Councils need to take responsibility for it growing onto people’s land and make sure it’s treated effectively.”

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