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Interview Japanese Knotweed Group

Interview with Mr. Simon Turner, gardener at Japanese Knotweed Group

The Japanese Knotweed Group is a firm of Japanese Knotweed Removal and invasive weed control specialists located in Caterham Surrey, United Kingdom. Japanase Knotweed Group provides our services at excellent value for money with assured results across London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex and the Isle of Wight Hampshire and the surrounding areas.


They survey residential properties and sites of all sizes and provide you with a written report identifying any areas of knotweed found, along with the program of treatment we recommend. They are an award-winning member of the PCA (Property Care Association) so you can rest assured that their recommendations are in your best interests.



Part 1: Presentation of Simon Turner, gardener at Japanese Knotweed Group



1. Introduce yourself:


My name is Simon Turner, I'm 54, and I run the Japanese Knotweed Group.

Part 2 : Description Simon Turner's career, owner at Japanese Knotweed Group



2. What drove you into treating Knotweed?


I worked for 30 years in the London Underground. During the time that I was looking after the embankments, I was asked by one of the managers whether I wanted to learn more about this Knotweed species which was infesting large parts of the Underground. I said 'Yes', so here we are today.   



3. How long has Knotweed been in the UK for?


Knotweed has been in the UK for over 150 of years after being brought over as an ornamental plant from Japan.



4. Why did you start your own company, Japanese Knotweed Group?


I'd been working for other companies and I thought that I could have a bit more flexibility and better quality of life if I worked for myself.  



5. What has been the most memorable job you've worked on as an gardener ?


I do a lot of Knotweed surveys for mortgage companies. One day we came across an old, dilapidated house which made be a bit anxious so I asked the chap who I was working with if their were any risks on the site. He replied 'No' and, just moments later, I walked over a pond covered by thick weeds and I fell right through!

Part 3 : Describing your day as a Japanese Knotweed Removal Specialist 



6. How can you best sum up the Japanese Knotweed Group?


We give honest opinions, fast treatment, and we're always happy to give advice for free when we can.



7. What is your role at the Japanese Knotweed Group?


I'm the managing director.



8. What is a typical day like? 


I actually own my own farm, so I'm up at about 5am. I let the animals out and then start planning where I'm going to be for the day. I am often in the car, so I have to plan where I'm going to be and then get out for the job.



9. What are the most rewarding aspects of your job as managing director and gardener?


Helping people that are suffering from a Knotweed infestations. It can be stressful when you buy a house, and you realize that is has Knotweed, so it's great to help these people.



10. What are the main difficulties in your job?


I find that the traffic getting out of London is a nightmare! If you have to get around town then it takes a long, long time. 

Part 4 : Qualities & Skills needed on the job? 



11. How do you describe yourself at work?


  • Hard-working
  • Loves a challenge
  • Diligent



12. What advice would you give to someone to start working in Knotweed removal?


  • Go to college
  • Get a certification
  • Get an apprenticeship
  • Start working!



Part 5 : Developments for Japanese Knotweed Group



13. How do you see your industry changing in the next few years? 


Because of a lot of different changes in the laws, we are having to adapt a lot of the recipes to help with treatments for Knotweed due to environmental reasons. We can't use phosphates any more so we have to start adapting.



Part 6 : Other


  • Hobbies: I like keeping coy carp. In the spirits of Japan!


  • Music: The old flavours. But also whatever the kids have got on!


  • Food: Everything and anything!


  • Hidden Talent: Is being a Crystal Palace fan a hidden talent? I'm not sure buy I do love them! I'm looking forward  to going back to Sellhurst Park!


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