Saffron Walden homebuyers faced with ‘bamboo jungle’
A couple buying a home in Saffron Walden, Essex, were faced with a ‘jungle’ of bamboo which had run riot in the front garden of the 3-bedroom detached house they viewed in April this year.
Katherine Beckford and her partner Oliver Jones were surprised at the extent of a bamboo infestation which had spread from the border hedge, where it had been planted to provide privacy from the street, to form a dense mass of rhizome covering the front garden, destroying the side fence to encroach onto the neighbour’s driveway and growing several metres in height.
Still keen to buy the property, Katherine and Oliver agreed with the seller that they would have the bamboo professionally excavated by Environet – and renegotiated the purchase price to reflect the cost of treatment, including a guarantee.
Katherine said: “I’d heard bamboo could be invasive but I had no idea it could cause so much damage. On viewing the property we were confronted with a dense bamboo jungle, with new shoots popping up all over the place including on the pavement and on our neighbour’s driveway.
“Luckily the house was built in the 1980s with solid concrete foundations, so the bamboo’s spread was blocked at the front of the property, sending it upwards against the façade, blocking the windows. The front fence was completely destroyed. We loved the house though, so we still wanted to go ahead with the purchase as long as the seller paid for the bamboo to be professionally removed with a guarantee in case it reappears in the future. If they hadn’t been willing to deal with it properly and pick up the bill, we would have walked away.”
New research we carried out earlier this year with YouGov reveals that 8% of homes in the UK are currently directly affected by bamboo with a further 3% adjoining an affected property, meaning that unless they deal with the problem, 11% of homeowners run the risk of bamboo derailing their property sale. Almost a third (28%) of people would be worried to discover bamboo on a property after they moved in, with the main concerns being its invasive nature (73%), the cost of removal (69%) and the risk of damage to property (57%).
Read more about Katherine and Oliver’s story in the Daily Telegraph.