Case Study on

Manchester Heaton Park

Heaton Park is the largest municipal park in Europe and receives approximately 2.6M visitors a year and covers more than 600 acres.


Heaton Park is the largest municipal park in Europe and receives approximately 2.6M visitors a year and covers more than 600 acres.

Heaton Park is a historic area on the edge of Manchester with all the attractions offering a full day out for all ages. Visitor areas include children play areas, cafes, an animal Centre, Tram Museum with tram rides around the park, bowling greens, 18-hole golf course, a boating lake and horse-riding facilities to name just a few.

he park also has a fairly vast events programme that takes place each year including outdoor concerts, dramas and plays. The park is home to Heaton Hall, with its beautifully restored interiors to get a taste of the 18th-century, with a collection of furniture, musical instruments and occasional recitals in the Music Room.

Activities include guided walks, orienteering, rowing boats, tram rides and beekeeping, and the largest event to date was a visit by Pope John Paul II in 1982.

Invasive weed present: Japanese Knotweed / Giant Japanese Knotweed


Japanese knotweed has been identified in 4 areas of the park.

Areas 1 and 2 are located at the boundary of the park with area 1 protruding from a main wall and area 2 a small growth within a grassed area.

Area 3 is located between 2 service buildings.

Area 4 is a large area of woodland classified as a Site of Biological Importance (SBI) by Greater Manchester Ecology Unit (GMEU), known as Bluebell Wood.


Japanese Knotweed is the UK’s No.1 Invasive species and if left will grow exponentially. It has no natural predators here in the UK, it is incredibly resilient, and it can ‘re-grow’ even after you remove or treat visible growth. Japanese knotweed’s underground rhizomes (roots) can grow to a depth of 3 meters and a width of 7 meters.

Because of this rhizome system, herbicides are only capable of controlling and slowing down knotweed. In fact, knotweed roots can create new plant growth to re-emerge for up to 20 years, especially if the ground is disturbed.

As the underground roots grow, they exploit cracks, mortar joints and other weak areas in buildings or hard surfaces. The pressure exerted by the plant growth can cause damage to:

  • Your house
  • Retaining walls
  • Garden walls
  • Fences
  • Garden buildings
  • Tarmac
  • Drives
  • Paved areas
  • Drainpipes
  • Underground infrastructure

In their search for moisture, Japanese knotweed rhizomes can interfere with drainage pipes and other structures, blocking and sometimes lifting pipework and clogging sumps and drainage pits. Other underground infrastructures are at risk, such as cabling and water pipes.


Thermo-electric eradication is new to the UK, albeit this technology has been used on a wide scale across Europe for decades and has proven itself in virtually all types of applications including Japanese Knotweed and many invasive plant species and general weed control including within an agricultural setting.

Unlike herbicidal treatments which in many cases only controls the growth of Japanese Knotweed and reduces the visual display of the knotweed above ground and tends to send the rhizomes into dormancy, thermo-electric treatment delivers up to 5000 volts directly to the stems and crowns of the knotweed, which travels throughout the extensive rhizome roots and effectively boils the weed inside out, destroying its cell structure and making it impossible to regrow.

While it is expected that several treatments will be required to ensure effective destruction of the entire weed and root system, there are no chemicals used which can damage other vegetation in the area and can pose health risks to humans, especially children and pets and also various forms of wildlife and can affect the ecosystem within the soil for many years.

Given the true nature of Heaton Park thermo-electric delivery poses none of the risks association with chemical treatment, and is suitable for all areas affected by Japanese Knotweed, even more so to the site of Biological importance.


After treatment photos