Cork City Council has insisted correct techniques were used to remove an invasive weed species from a public park, amid fears the methods used would exacerbate the spread.
A contractor, acting on behalf of the local authority, recently cleared a ditch of Japanese knotweed as part of works being carried out at Marina Park close to the rebuilt Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The invasive species can penetrate roads, concrete, and paving, and experts warn only a small sample is needed for it to spread.
Homeowners have been warned not to cut any of the weed on their property, with experts advising the plant can only be controlled over a prolonged period of time by treating it with herbicides that attack the roots.
Local resident Denis O’Regan said it appeared those involved “dug it out with a digger” and “dragged it across the site”.
“I am a member of the Cork Environmental Forum and this is an issue that has been raised at meetings,” he said. “I think they have taken the wrong approach, they needed to contain this and treat it for three or four years by injecting the roots.
“If they haven’t got this right, it will spread for years to come, after the expansion of the park and after the expensive paving has gone in.”
A city council spokesperson said the local authority was confident it had taken appropriate measures to tackle the weed. “The contractor has confirmed a clump of Japanese knotweed was removed yesterday and is being stored on site pending the city council’s approval for appropriate disposal in line with the approved specification for Japanese knotweed disposal.
“Any residue of vegetation from resprouting rhizomes at this location will be treated with the appropriate approved herbicide.
“There are a number of other locations within the curtilage of Marina Park that will be treated with the appropriate approved herbicide in the autumn.”
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