Dr Paul Beckett is a director and co-founder of Phlorum, a multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy that serves a range of professionals in the land use planning and construction sectors.
With an academic background in plant ecophysiology, Paul was first drawn to Japanese knotweed while attempting to eradicate it from nature reserves as a student conservation volunteer in the early ‘90s.
Since helping to produce the RICS guidance for surveyors and to form the Property Care Association (PCA) Invasive Weed Control Group (IWCG), Paul’s work on residential property affected by Japanese knotweed has increased markedly. This is primarily due to the RICS and PCA creating a system that allows lenders to quantify and mitigate knotweed risks on affected properties. However, lessons still need to be learned in light of recent legal action, such as the widely reported Williams and Waistell v Network Rail Infrastructure case, in which Paul acted as knotweed expert for the two Claimants.
Paul continues his research interests in knotweed, having published work on methods to improve treatment with herbicides and in his involvement with Sussex and Lancaster Universities in developing novel, biochemical solutions to this problem weed.
He is regularly appointed as an expert witness in cases where Japanese knotweed affects property.