AN AGGRESSIVE and destructive weed has been spotted on the banks of Eagley Brook.

Japanese Knotweed, an invasive species of plant, has started to grow on the south bank of the waterway, near Ashworth Lane.

The tenacious weed was spotted along the bank between the two bridges to the west of Ashworth Lane on Monday afternoon.

Local resident Peter Rogerson reported the sighting, and is urging other residents to be take care around the determined plant.

He said: “Eagley Brook is infested with invasive species – there are serious quantities of Japanese Knotweed, some Himalayan Balsam and further down the river I have seen Giant Hogweed.

“Please tell your children not to touch the knotweed, even the slightest twig could cause an infestation of your gardens.

”Its potential to spread to unwanted places is where substantial ecological damage can occur."

Warnings about Giant Hogweed have been issued in the past, as contact with the massive plant can cause severe burns and blisters, which are extremely sensitive to the sun for years, and even blindness if it comes into contact with eyes.

The Mersey River Trust believe many patches of the dangerous plant across Manchester originate from Eagley Brook, and have warned residents to be careful.

Whilst Japanese Knotweed is not dangerous to humans, it can cause ecological destruction if left to grow.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 made it illegal to cause Japanese Knotweed to grow in the wild.

Anyone who fails to dispose of contaminated soil or plant material properly can face a fine up to £5,000, or up to two years in prison, if the weed spreads.

Although seeds from the plant are unviable, new sections of knotweed can sprout from very small sections of underground stems, known as rhizomes.

Even a tiny scrap of the plant could cause a new patch of weed to grow, making it very difficult to completely eradicate.

Another stretch of knotweed has been spotted on the track which leads to Barley Brook from Stambourne Drive by Geoff Wilde.

The plant has started to grow behind the bungalows on Yew Tree Lane.