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Invasive Plants – CuTex in Rail Infrastructure

Protecting Rail Infrastructure from Japanese Knotweed – CuTex Copper Composite

Project Information


United Kingdom


Helmrig Ltd T/A Knotweed Eradication


CuTex Copper Composite


Japanese knotweed is an invasive non-native species that is present across Europe having first been introduced during the 19th Century.

Japanese Knotweed has a high growth rate, up to 2m in 30 days, and ability to drive its way through many substrates including tarmac and concrete mean it can present safety and operational issues for the railway by blocking signals, sightlines and positions of safety.

There is legislation covering the rail network that can require knotweed to be controlled or eradicated (Wildlife & Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 and the Infrastructure Act 2015). In addition to this Network Rail standard NR/L2/OTK/5201 Lineside vegetation management manual, as the governing standard, requires that Knotweed should be managed and recorded.

CuTex Copper Composite has been specifically designed for the control of Japanese Knotweed and other invasive plant species.

Where a new signal box was adjacent to live track. CuTex was specified as it negated the need for deep excavation and subsequent engineering prior to concrete pores.

CuTex can provide direct protection from invasive weeds and plants, particularly the risk posed by Japanese Knotweed to environments such as utilities’ infrastructures and foundations, across a wide range of industries including construction, highways, rail and water.

CuTex is a permeable geocomposite root barrier consisting of a copper sheet mechanically encapsulated between a woven polypropylene geotextile and a high strength nonwoven polypropylene geotextile. Cutex functions not only as a physical barrier, but also as a chemical barrier.

The benefits of using CuTex:

  • CuTex is Safe – tested for biodiversity
  • CuTex is Permeable – does not prevent water passage allowing for sustainable urban drainage
  • CuTex Inhibits Root Growth – CuTex acts as both a physical and a chemical barrier to prevent the spread of Invasive roots.

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