A charity spearheaded by naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham has given Lewes District Council a ringing endorsement for the work being done by the authority to reduce the use of glyphosate.
Glyphosate is a chemical that is used to treat perennial weeds on hard surfaces such as pathways and roads. It is also used to control difficult weeds such as Japanese Knotweed, but Lewes District Council stopped using it in public parks, near children’s play areas and other open spaces, instead employing other methods of weed control such as hot foam.
Councillor Julie Carr, Cabinet Member for Open Spaces, said: “The council’s change of approach to more environmentally friendly forms of weed control has been in progress for several years. More recently, the Co-operative Alliance introduced a pesticide reduction policy that dovetails with our pollinator strategy, climate change and sustainability strategy and biodiversity strategy.”
Wild Justice were full of praise for the steps Lewes District Council has taken, saying, ‘the council doesn’t use glyphosate on its own land, except on rare occasions for certain species such as Japanese Knotweed. Their policy on pesticides was impressive, with a whole section dedicated to the use of glyphosate and alternatives, and they plan to have all public parks largely or completely free of pesticides’.
Councillor Matthew Bird, Cabinet Member for Sustainability, said: "I’m really glad Chris Packham and his colleagues at Wild Justice have commented positively on the work we are doing.
“Chris has been telling it like it is for a long time and the comments from Wild Justice mean a lot to us and help validate what we are trying to achieve with nature recovery in the face of the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.’
Wild Justice is a not-for-profit organisation that is focused on nature conservation, advocacy to make UK laws, policies and practices more wildlife-friendly, use of UK legal system to further nature conservation objectives and encouraging public participation in nature conservation issues.