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23rd April 2020

The dreaded invasive species Japanese knotweed is usually the last thing you want on your property, however new research shows it could have a more positive side than we initially thought.

Researchers have recently been studying the potential use of Japanese knotweed to alleviate the symptoms of Lyme Disease.

Recent studies have shown that Lyme Disease is rapidly increasing in the UK, infecting as many as 8,000 people per year. Spread by ticks, the most common sign of infection is redness on the skin, headaches, fever and muscle joint pain. With one in five people not responding to antibiotics, a more effective treatment option is needed.

Testing the effectiveness of a number of plant-based extracts, it has been found that Japanese knotweed was one of the strongest contenders, alongside Ghanaian quinine, with a solution containing just one percent being enough to kill the bacteria that causes the disease.

Containing polyphenol resveratrol, Japanese knotweed has been found to have anti-tumour and anti-inflammatory effects on the heart and nervous system. It is already used as a traditional medicine across India and China and now scientists are looking into the plant as a herbal remedy for alleviating the symptoms of Coronavirus, although that being in its very early stages.

We are finding more and more about how Japanese knotweed can be used in our everyday lives, it’s in medicines, alcohol, beauty products, I even saw an article on it being used as a flavouring at the 2020 World’s Original Marmalade Awards, not too sure how I feel about that, although it’s definitely original!

You may not want it on your property, but you’ve got to admit, it does have its uses and could just be the answer for those suffering the effects of Lyme Disease.

19th March 2020

World Water Day happens once every year to celebrate water and raise awareness of the people across the globe without access to clean water. The day has been held on the 22nd March every year since 1993 and this year it is all about how water can help fight climate change.

In the UK the average person uses 150 litres of water every single day. We are no doubt more conscious of turning on the taps due to COVID-19, so it seems a great time to reflect on how we can make a positive difference in other areas, whilst spending more time at home.

Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and as an environmental company, our carbon footprint is extremely important to us. So, we have decided to take a look at how we can all do our bit to protect our planet.

Here are Ebsfords top 10 tips to help reduce your water waste.

1. Brews for everyone

When making a brew at work, to save energy and water, do your good deed of the day and make one for your colleagues too! Or if you’re at home, only boil what you need, it will save time, electricity, money and most importantly water.

2. Make it rain

Don’t let that rainwater to go waste. An easy way to do this is to install a garden water butt. It can save up to 5,000 litres of water every year! You can use the water for rinsing vegetables, car washing or simply giving the garden a good ‘old watering.

3. Shut the tap off

Yes we must keep following good hygiene practice and regularly wash hands to fight the spread of disease, but generally we are all culprits of it. Leaving the tap on whilst we’re brushing our teeth or washing our face. But simply turning it off in between could save up to 6 litres of water per minute.

4. Early Bird or Night Owl

Did you know you should only water your garden either at the very start of the day or the very end? It will stop the water evaporating in sunlight. It is also worth using a watering can instead of a hose pipe, it could save as much as 1,000 litres of water an hour.

5. Don’t be a dawdler

Cutting an 8-minute shower in half could save you over 30 litres of water and that’s per shower. Set your phone timer to make sure you don’t cheat!

6. Fill ‘er up!

Fill your Dishwasher/ Washing machine to the brim, it will not only save you work but save on water too. Also make sure you use the most efficient energy setting; you won’t know the difference!

7. Don’t be a drip

That dripping tap could be causing a bigger impact than you think, wasting up to 5500 litres of water every year! So, make sure your taps are fully turned off or change the washers as soon as it starts to drip.

8. Recycle your water

Rather than let it go down the plughole, catch wastewater in a washing up bowl and use it to water your garden, it’s too good to go down the drain.

9. Put the fridge to use

Think of all those times you run the cold water tap each time you want an ice-cold drink, why not keep a bottle full in the fridge? It’ll be super chilled and refreshing.

10. Power to the shower

We all enjoy the luxury of a nice long bath but take a shower when you can, it can cut the amount of water used in half.

When it comes to water consumption, are we taking our endless supply of water for granted? We all have a role to play when it comes to tackling the global water crises and following these top tips could make a bigger impact than you’d think.

02nd March 2020

As brits we are used to the less than perfect weather conditions and unsurprisingly it is a hot topic of conversation, in fact according to an article in ‘the Sun’ we spend more than 6 months of our life talking about it. This year, we have already had storm Dennis and Ciara within 7 days of each other, with winds up to 97mph. We also expect Storm Ellen and Francis to follow shortly.

These weather conditions are becoming more frequent and extreme due to climate change. Recent flooding due to storm after storm is not only causing us problems in the way of damage to properties, poor travel conditions and destruction of crops but have also accelerated the spread of invasive species. Last year was England’s 5th wettest autumn on record, whereby torrential rain caused chaos, leading to serious river and surface water flooding. Following the extreme weather, the Wildlife Trust conducted a survey only to find its nature reserves had been inhabited by Japanese knotweed rhizomes, that were once non-existent.

So how is the weather causing the species to spread so quickly? Japanese knotweed is often spread when pieces of the rhizome separate from its parent plant and are swept away, they thrive in new locations and often take over at high speed. The species tends to inhibit banksides of rivers and so when flooding occurs and river levels rise, the rhizome is easily broken away and carried to a new location.

Preventing the spread of Japanese knotweed is understandably difficult, particularly when the weather is not on our side. Rivers should be monitored when flooding occurs but there really isn’t a whole lot that can be done to prevent Japanese knotweed ending up on your property, if it’s being carried from a watercourse.

The invasion of Japanese knotweed has been a nuisance for people across many industries for years. All we really can do is take responsibility for the invasive species on our land and educate others on how to do the same. But in the meantime, how great would it be if this weather gave us all a break and stopped making things worse. Not to mention making a day out on site that bit more appealing.

If you want to learn more about how you can help fight the spread of Japanese knotweed, Ebsford are offering a CPD seminar aimed at helping navigate the eradication process. For more information feel free to contact us directly on 01924 802 190.

03rd December 2019

Ebsford Environmental were delighted to be up for nomination at the PCA 10th Annual Best Practice Awards, held in November, celebrating the very best in the industry.

This year our projects have taken a step up with the level of technical difficulty, kicking off the year with three major screening projects and rounding up the year with our biggest Japanese Knotweed scheme to date.

The Invasives business unit have pulled together to complete 142 projects this year alone. A special thanks goes out to our operations teams for going above and beyond, ensuring each project is delivered to the highest possible standard, commercial who have reached an outstanding 30% increase in sales following last year and the customer services team, who work hard to regularly communicate with clients and continue to retain our high level of repeat business year after year, it doesn’t go unnoticed!

As a result of all the hard work this year and brilliant feedback throughout the customer journey and project delivery, we were honoured to be awarded Japanese Knotweed Contractor of the Year! With 127 PCA Japanese Knotweed members at present, this is a fantastic accomplishment and our Invasives team are extremely proud of what they have achieved this year.

To add to the success, Ebsford were also highly commended for Japanese Knotweed project of the year at Cryfields, a complex job, well managed and delivered by our southern commercial and operations. We are proud to be recognised for these works and appreciate the opportunity given by the PCA to acknowledge what a fantastic team we have built.

A huge congratulations to all involved.

28th October 2019

Ebsford love a bit of light-hearted competition between departments and so the mention of a possible 5-a-side company match did not go unheard.

The suggestion soon turned into a well-planned event complete with witty team names, makeshift hi-vis bibs and of course a bar for the less energetic of us to enjoy a drink, whilst cheering on the players.

The date was set and after some pre-match fighting talk, the Ebsford team gathered at the local football centre for what would be an eventful evening. Despite a few members being missing/ lost, the two teams; Ebsford United (Tottenham Hopperspur) and Environmental FC (Aston Screener) kicked the game off to a flying start.

Before long, the first few goals had been scored and a number of collisions had occurred, but both sides were putting in their all to secure a win. As the match continued it soon turned into mayhem, the teams were gaining new players, losing players, we even had a dislocated finger at one point. However everyone managed to make it out alive, although no doubt a little sore the next day.

The final score was debatable with a possible last-minute goal from Environmental FC, but the teams shook hands on a 12-12 draw. Afterwards, the group embarked upon post-match drinks to celebrate and discuss tactics for the next game, no doubt this will become a frequent event here at Ebsford.

 

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