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wildflowers in field

Date posted: 20 April 2022

Bee happy! Council reduces use of pesticides by 75%

Following the adoption of its Pesticide Policy and Action Plan in November 2020, Waverley Borough Council has managed to achieve a 75% reduction in the use of Glyphosate since 2019/20.

The Pesticide Policy forms part of the council’s ambitions to become carbon-neutral by 2030; the reduction of pesticides is just one of a number of projects to have been implemented to increase biodiversity in the borough. These include:

  • Pesticide free playgrounds achieved (weeds removed by hand or mechanical means)
  • Weed spraying of Surrey County Council highways areas with Glyphosate based herbicide reduced from two sprays per year down to one spray per year
  • Trials initiated in alternative weed control methods (trial of acetic acid on SCC highway sites in 4 locations across the borough since 2020, further trials of alternative methods continuing)
  • Pesticides will no longer be used to control mole infestations

Cllr Kika Mirylees, Waverley Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing, Parks and Leisure, said: “This is fantastic news for our environment and our residents too. We know from our annual Greenspaces Survey that a reduction in the use of pesticides is important to our residents due to the harmful effects they can have on our environment and wildlife. The decline of bees and pollinators, bird species and mammals have all been linked to pesticide use. The fantastic work our Greenspaces team and our contractors has put into making this happen has to be applauded.”

The council has already enhanced a number of other areas including the setting aside of wildflower areas to benefit pollinators and reviewing grass cutting frequency. With a future move to more electric vehicles and machinery wherever possible this will result in lower vehicle emissions and noise pollution. In addition, all grass cuttings and pruning’s collected by the council’s contractor Continental Landscapes are composted and used on council sites with any surplus offered to local allotments and community gardens.

Councillor Steve Williams, Waverley Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability added: “The phasing out of such pesticides is in line with the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and addresses the growing concern over the effect of chemicals on both the environment and wildlife. It is great news to see how well the Pesticide Policy and Action Plan is progressing.”

Visit our website to view our Pesticide Policy and Action Plan and  Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan



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