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a toolkit for local authorities

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Going Pesticide-Free a Toolkit for Local Authorities

X It doesn’t have to be this way... Help PAN UK make our towns and cities pesticide-free 1

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Going Pesticide-Free

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a toolkit for local authorities

Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Pesticides – what are they – why and where are they used? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 The precautionary principle – public health and the problems with pesticides . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Reasons for going pesticide-free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Legislative drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Public concern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 An issue of human rights? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The benefits of going pesticide-free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 How to achieve a pesticide-free town . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Examples of alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Public awareness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Contracts and Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Contentious issues and how to deal with them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Effectiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Invasive species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Toolkit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Framing a pesticide policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Notice of Motions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Sample Report to Cabinet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Organising a trial of alternatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Pesticides currently used in amenity applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Information for the public . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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Going Pesticide-Free

Introduction

Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) has compiled this brief guide to amenity use of pesticides to help local authorities to end or reduce the use of pesticides in areas under their control.

In Europe, and more widely throughout the world there is a growing movement to end the use of pesticides in towns and cities. This has been triggered by growing public concern over the possible health effects of exposure to pesticides, particularly for our children. There are also concerns about the effects of pesticides on biodiversity and their pollution of water sources including those used to supply our drinking water.

Pesticides – what are they – why and where are they used? Pesticides are chemicals used to control a variety of pests in a range of situations. Agriculture is the largest user of pesticides in the UK, but they are also used for amenity control of pests and weeds and by the public in their homes and gardens.

In the UK it is clear that the public are concerned about the use of pesticides in their towns and are keen to see changes made. The level of public interest has increased significantly since the recent announcement by the World Health Organisation that glyphosate – the most widely used active substance in towns and cities – is a probable human carcinogen. There are also public concerns about the effects of pesticides on pollinator species like bees and butterflies that are increasingly finding refuge in our towns and cities.

66 Pesticides include:66 Insecticides that kill insects 66 Herbicides that kill plants 66 Fungicides that kill fungal problems They can also be classed as biocides and include molluscicides, rodenticides and anti-fouling agents.

In France, more than 400 villages and towns and some large cities including Paris are pesticidefree and by 2020 France will have stopped the use of all non-agricultural pesticides. In Belgium the regions of Flanders and Wallonia are both committed to going pesticide-free and will have achieved this by 2017. Other big European cities, Barcelona and Hamburg have stopped using glyphosate, and in Canada and the USA there is an ever growing momentum to stop the use of pesticides in parks, playgrounds, towns and cities. This trend will only increase as more and more non-pesticide strategies are implemented and shown to be successful.

In the amenity sector, the most widely used type of pesticide are herbicides to control weeds and other plant materials notably on hard surfaces such as streets, pavements and pathways. They are also employed to deal with a range of issues such as insect control, rodent control and many others. For a full list of the pesticides used in the amenity sector please see the Box below and to see fuller details for the 15 most frequently used, their modes of action and their potential harmful effects please see p17. Whilst it is possible that your local authority does not actually use any pesticides itself, it is likely that outside contractors employed on its behalf to

As of the most recent UK wide survey there were a reported 41 different types of pesticide used for a variety of purposes in the towns and cities of the UK. Glyphosate, Ferrous-sulphate, MCPA 67, 2,4-D, MCPP, Glyphosate-trimesium, Carbendazim, Dicamba, Triclopyr, 2,4-DP, Iprodione, Diflufenican, Chlorpyrifos-e, Tebuconazole, Cypermethrin, Trifloxystrobin, Fluroxypyr, Chlorothalonil, Dichlorprop-P, Propiconazole, Metaldehyde, Glufosinateammonium, Azoxystrobin, Pyraclostrobin, Clopyralid, Picloram, Imidacloprid, Pyrethrins, Alphacypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Permethrin, Piperonyl-butoxide, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Isoxaben, Flufenoxuron, Tetramethrin, Florasulam, Phenothrin, Indoxacarb, Flazasulfuron, Abamectin.

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a toolkit for local authorities

undertake maintenance, including weed clearing, on the highways and streets, parks, housing stock or schools are using pesticides of some kind.

groups are more vulnerable to their effects than others. Children in particular are more susceptible to the effects of pesticides for a number of reasons; their bodies are still developing, they are exposed to greater amounts relative to their weight and they are often more directly in contact with sprayed areas such as in playgrounds, parks and sports pitches. The report, “A Generation in Jeopardy”, published by Pesticide Action Network North America takes a close look at the effects pesticides are having on our children, taking dozens of scientific reports showing that we are submitting our children to unacceptable levels of risk by exposing them to pesticides.1

Throughout the towns and cities of the UK, pesticides are used in a wide variety of ways;

66 Weed control – most commonly seen on streets and pavements and usually there are two or more applications per year. These are most commonly carried out by contractors employed by the council but can also be undertaken by in-house council work teams

66 Control of insects in parks that are harming ornamental plants

In the case of glyphosate, not only has it been classified as a probable carcinogen by the WHO but a new monograph published by Pesticide Action Network International shows that acute poisoning, kidney and liver damage, imbalances in the intestinal microbiome and intestinal functioning, genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental reduction, neurological damage and immune system dysfunction can all be linked to glyphosate exposure. For more information on the potentially harmful effects of glyphosate on children and human and environmental health in general please see the Glyphosate Monograph produced by Pesticide Action Network International.2

66 Control of invasive species such as Japanese knotweed

66 Maintenance of sports pitches

The precautionary principle – public health and the problems with pesticides The precautionary principle states that: “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some causeand-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically”

Whilst it is very difficult to directly link particular instances of chronic ill health with exposure to any particular pesticides, we do know that certain pesticides have certain qualities that can cause health problems; carcinogenicity, reproductive problems, developmental problems and a range of other issues. But an important point to make about pesticides is that approved for use does not automatically mean safe to use. This is why they are regulated and also why since 2007 the WHO has collated and updated a list of the most highly hazardous pesticides currently in use.3

Why is this so relevant to the use of pesticides? Simply put, pesticides are poisons; they are designed to kill living organisms and are the only class of chemical deliberately introduced into the environment with the intention of doing fatal harm. Their potential for harm is known whilst they are in production, the manufacturers have to submit toxicological data to regulatory authorities long before a particular active substance can come onto the market. The regulatory process is designed to take these potentially harmful effects into account but, as has been seen over the years, does not always predict the real world effects that some pesticides can have when used.

Reasons for going pesticide-free There are other important problems associated with pesticide use. Contamination of water supplies is a big problem in the UK. Water companies in England and Wales spend millions of pounds per year removing pesticides from water. This cost is passed on to the consumer resulting in

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It is important to recognise that pesticides do not only affect the organisms they are targeted against, but can have negative, and often unforeseen, impacts on non-target organisms and people. In terms of the effects on humans, some

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66 Defra guidance document, published

higher water bills. South West Water for example estimates that 17% of the amount of its customers’ bills results from passing on the cost of pesticide removal.4 Hard surface spraying, the most common occurrence in the amenity sector, can and does lead to run off of applied pesticides in to drains and other water courses, adding to contamination problems. Stopping the use of pesticides will help to reduce water contamination.

February 2016 – Providing and Protecting Habitat for Wild Birds – this guidance document contains advice on how local authorities should be working to offer greater protection for wild birds. In urban areas, species such as swifts, house sparrows and starlings can all benefit from proactive conservation activities and stopping the use of pesticides could contribute to the objectives outlined in the guidance document.7

Biodiversity also suffers from the use of pesticides. In particular bees and other key species, that are under pressure in the UK as a result of intensification of agriculture, are finding refuges in our towns and cities. However, reducing the number and variety of plants, including ‘weeds’ such as dandelions, can affect their ability to survive and prosper. Similarly the overuse of herbicides is reducing the abundance and diversity of our native and much loved plant species, even if some of these might be classified as weeds.

66 The Green Flag Award – the Green Flag

Awards are a prestigious award given to parks and green spaces that meet their stringent criteria. The award criteria cover a range of areas with standards that need to be met in order for the award to be granted. One of these areas is reducing and minimising the use of pesticides within the park / green space. Having a no pesticide policy for all green spaces within a town, city or borough would assist in any applications for Green Flag status.8

Legislative drivers for change In the UK, a number of pieces of legislation or guidance that are aimed at reducing or stopping the use of pesticides in the urban setting in order to protect human health, biodiversity or water bodies from contamination by potentially toxic pesticides;

Public concern There is a great deal of public concern about the issue of pesticides and our exposure to them, particularly their impact on vulnerable groups like children. There is also wider concern about the harm that pesticides are causing to our environment which has been particularly highlighted by the recent alarming declines in bee and other pollinator species in the UK.9 Public interest and concern about the harmful effects of pesticides has never been at a higher level than it is presently.

66 UK National Action Plan on Pesticides (NAP)5

– The NAP was brought in under the EU Directive on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides and outlines how the UK will meet its objective of pesticide risk reduction and use minimisation. Unlike the EU Directive, there are no concrete targets for stopping the use of pesticides in areas frequented by the public but the NAP does call for users to:

Concern for health The announcement in summer 2015 by the WHO that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen caused a huge amount of public concern about its use and particularly the possible effects it might have on children.

i. Take ‘all reasonable precautions’ to protect or avoid endangering human health when using, storing and handling pesticides; ii. confine pesticide applications to the target areas; iii. ensure that the amount used and the frequency of use should be as low as is reasonably practicable in specific areas.

However, concerns are not just focussed on glyphosate. A number of the pesticides that are used in the amenity sector are linked to a range of problems, from cancer to developmental problems to endocrine disruption. The only way that the public can be sure of not being exposed to harmful pesticides is to switch to non-chemical pest and

66 The UK National Pollinator Strategy – this

calls on local authorities to increase and improve areas of habitat for bee and other pollinator species. This includes advice on not mowing areas and reducing pesticide use.6

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Benefits

weed control measures.

66 Reduced exposure to potentially harmful

Concern for the environment As mentioned above the issue of dwindling bee and pollinator numbers has caught the attention of the British public and they are concerned about how pesticides are one of the key drivers for these declines. There are growing campaigns for and councils adopting no-mow regimes on verges and other areas that can be good pollinator habitats. Stopping the use of herbicides and insecticides would be one more positive contribution to this and the public are fully aware of it.

chemicals for council employees and contractors

66 Reduced exposure to potentially harmful chemicals for the general public

66 Reduced spending on chemical inputs 66 Increased sustainability as part of sustainability goals

66 Positive message for the public 66 Better habitats for bees, pollinators and other

An issue of human rights?

species

Local authorities should realise that by applying pesticides, they are deliberately exposing residents and the environment to toxic chemicals. Recently, in New Zealand a human rights impact assessment on spraying glyphosate on roadside verges concluded that spraying of glyphosate where the public could be exposed was a potential breach of human rights.10 A case is now pending and it is possible that similar case could be launched in the UK with subsequent legal ramifications.

66 Reduced contamination of water bodies It is very clear that the public is concerned about the use of pesticides in towns and cities and the potential that their use has for harming human health or the environment in general. There are an ever increasing number of local groups starting to campaign against the use of pesticides and this will only keep on growing as more is understood about the harm that they can cause. iit is possible that by changing the weed control regime costs can, in the long term, be reduced. Many examples of cost saving associated with going pesticide-free can be found: in Seattle, where they have been working to reduce the use of pesticides in their parks since the 1970’s, they have successfully reduced the number of man hours and subsequently costs for pesticide application.12 Similarly, in the city of Ghent in Belgium, which has been pesticide-free for 20 years, the amount of labour used for maintaining the parks has been significantly reduced since switching away from pesticides, saving the city money.13

The benefits of going pesticide-free A poll conducted during the discussions on the re-approval of glyphosate showed that 56% of UK citizens wanted to see a ban on its use due to the possible health effects its use poses to them and their children.11 In the UK there is a growing pesticide-free towns campaign, supported by PAN UK, that is seeing ever more campaigns springing up and being started by local people concerned about pesticides. To date there are over 150 local online petitions hosted by the internet campaign group 38 Degrees.

It is also very clear that it is possible to control weeds effectively without resorting to pesticides and it is possible for urban areas to do without pesticides completely.

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A number of benefits that can accrue from adopting a pesticide-free approach. Financial considerations are of course a concern for councils across the UK, but with the costs of non-pesticide maintenance close to or potentially less than the chemical approach and the other non-financial benefits so high we believe that it is a win-win approach for all.

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How to achieve a pesticide-free town

combination with the use of acetic acid spraying can be a very effective alternative.

66 Hot foam systems15, like hot water systems,

Going pesticide-free can seem a daunting change for many Councils. But in fact, adopting different techniques need not be difficult or costly. Happily, there is a thirty-year history of towns and cities worldwide switching to non-chemical methods. There is lots of experience out there that councils and their officers can learn from – You are not starting from scratch.

kill plants using heat, but can be used in all weather conditions. This gives them a major advantage over chemical herbicides which can only be sprayed under ideal weather conditions.

66 High pressure hot water treatments can be

particularly effective and also have other uses such as chewing gum removal.16

66 Electronic control systems17 that kill stems

The first step is to assess pesticide use to determine exactly why they are being used. Many uses are unnecessary and can be avoided. For example changing planting schemes to provide more ground cover, or introducing “wildlife areas” in parks can do away with the need for pesticides altogether.

and roots instantly and are particularly suited to dealing with invasive species are also available.

One particularly effective approach that should be highlighted is working with the local community in parks and other areas. It is possible to engage volunteers to come into areas and weed by hand. Not only will this get the job done but it is an effective way of engaging local communities to become more involved in their parks or surroundings in general. A sense of community spirit can be engendered by involving the community and it is also an opportunity for the council to engage with local groups in a positive manner. There are already a number of councils using this approach and even the Royal Parks in London are asking for volunteers to come in and hand weed.18

In Paris, when they introduced a ban on herbicide use over ten years ago, the Mayor instigated an awareness campaign for Paris residents explaining the benefits of not using pesticides on their streets and encouraging residents to accept a greater level of ‘weediness’ as the payoff for reducing their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

66 Hand weeding is an option particularly for

smaller areas such as playgrounds and on paths running through parks. It is possible to use already existing council employees and parks staff to do this in a regular basis to maintain levels.

Of course volunteers can do much more than just hand weed and can help with the maintenance and upkeep of a wide range of areas from parks to local communities.

66 Acetic acid dilutions have been used very

effectively to control weeds on hard surfaces in a variety of situations. Acetic is biodegradable and poses no risk of bioaccumulation.14

Public Awareness Experience in those areas where bans have been successfully implemented has shown that public awareness raising activities are key to success. It is vital that the public know what changes are planned and the reasons for it so that they can support the initiative. This can be achieved effectively by using signs in areas where the no pesticide approach is being carried out, while public meetings or consultations can be another effective way of getting the message across. Working in conjunction with local groups or friends of parks groups in your area can also be beneficial in building local support for the change and help to get the message out.

66 Various types of manual approaches are

available in the form of differing types of mulching. This can be done with a variety of materials such as bark from recycled Christmas trees or by using mulch mats. This is a particularly useful approach in ornamental beds and in parks.

66 Flame treatment has been used successfully to eliminate weeds

66 Steel brushing can be used for large scale areas such as pavements and roads and in

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like children or the elderly, or which could provide beneficial habitats for bees, pollinators and other species in the urban environment are easy ways of gaining public support for the policy. Excellent examples of this phased approach can be seen in the USA where a number of regions have stopped the use of pesticides in their parks.19

This approach can be a valuable opportunity for councils to work positively with a range of community stakeholders to make positive changes to their locality. One area that is vitally important is to report what you have been doing already. Many council departments will have tried to reduce the use of pesticides in certain areas such as parks and playgrounds. If that is the case, then this should be advertised to the public. Tell them what you are doing and what you have achieved so far. It will help to reassure them that you are taking the issue seriously and that you are taking steps in the right direction. One example of how to achieve this would be to create a map of the areas where you used to use pesticides and show how that area has shrunk over time.

Another lesson is that these phased approaches should be accompanied by a commitment to the eventual complete cessation of pesticide use (or at the least a serious and meaningful reduction in their application). This commitment should be clearly stated and could include any of the options below:

66 No pesticide use at all 66 Pesticide use but only for dealing with such

things as invasive species where required by law

In a similar approach, if your council operations have reduced the volume of pesticides applied it is worth advertising this fact, sell it as a good news progress story. Records of use and purchases are available not only to you but also to the public via freedom on information requests – so the figures are not secret. It will again help show that you are doing the right thing.

66 A commitment to start working towards a

pesticide-free approach over the long time by phasing out pesticides in specific areas, with a clear time frame for reaching a pesticide-free goal.

Contract specification More and more local councils do not undertake their own pesticide applications, particularly for streets and other non-park areas. This work is undertaken by contractors employed by the council. However, as the client, the council has the right and the power to specify what that contract should look like and is certainly well within its rights to insist that a contractor not use pesticides as part of the contract fulfilment. The more councils that require a pesticide-free approach from their contractors, the more contractors will have to provide that service, making it, in the long run, easier and cheaper and in fact the norm rather than the exception.

A measured approach Of course, implementing a no-pesticide policy requires careful thought and planning. It is often difficult to end pesticide use overnight and a more measured approach may have to be taken. For example, contracts with existing contractors which stipulate pesticide use may need to be renegotiated or rewritten and this may have to wait until the end of the contract period. Where an existing contract is in place, it may still be possible to initiate measures in areas that fall outside those covered by the contract and make a commitment to switch to a no pesticide approach at the conclusion of the contract.

Pesticide Policy Given that the use of pesticides by councils can be a contentious issue for the public and often a point of concern, it is surprising how few have a detailed policy on the use of pesticides in their area. It is important that each council sets out a clear policy on the conditions under which pesticides are being used in their area – how, where, why, and what measures are being taken to end or reduce

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Real life experience of establishing pesticidefree areas has shown that introducing measures in a phased manner: starting off in certain areas such as parts of parks or whole parks, can be helpful. Pesticide-free pilot areas can be used as both a learning opportunity and a chance to start introducing the concept to the public before extending it more widely. Prioritising areas frequented by more vulnerable members of society,

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pesticide use. This not only benefits the council, allowing it to know exactly what the approach should be but would also assist the general public in knowing and being reassured that a particular council is taking the issue seriously. Examples of pesticide policies published by councils are provided in the toolkit section at the end of this document.

other methods were close or cheaper if the cost of initial equipment purchase is taken out of the equation. Glastonbury has also estimated that over the long term the costs will come down and that they will be able to recoup the initial cost of the equipment by leasing it to other neighbouring authorities. The long view is important. Ultimately, it comes down to balancing the benefits against the costs. There are, as this toolkit has demonstrated, numerous non-financial benefits to going pesticidefree, and these should be weighed against, and factored into, any evaluation of the costs of switching. New and innovative funding strategies are also available. Many of the new chemical-free approaches can be used in all weather conditions and so are far more flexible than pesticides where there are legal restrictions on when and where they can be used. Cost sharing for equipment among neighbouring councils is another good way of reducing costs.

Contentious issues and how to deal with them Cost implications Cost is of course a serious issue for every council in the UK; it comes up time and time again in reference to adopting a pesticide-free regime. But it is worth pointing out that pesticides are not free, significant sums of money are spent on purchasing them by councils, so there is already a cost implication involved. So in the first instance it would be of use to audit your spending on herbicides and factor in the portion of the costs incurred by a contractor that are for purchasing chemicals before you start to make a cost comparison.

Effectiveness Concerns about the effectiveness of a non-chemical approach are natural and these are often echoed by the public, many of whom do not like the presence of weeds at all. However, the new systems that are coming into operation are just as effective as chemical controls make it possible to maintain current levels of weed control in your area.

But the cost of alternative approaches is undoubtedly an issue. However, with advances in technology and availability of more and more nonchemical alternatives, costs will and are coming down and are in many cases comparable to a pesticide regime. It is also the case that after initial costs for a new system, which might be higher than the present budget, the costs, over time, will reduce to parity or even come in lower. This was the case in Glastonbury, the first town in the UK to ban glyphosate, where they invested in their own Foamstream system. They undertook some cost comparisons which showed that the cost difference even between hand weeding and glyphosate use was not huge, but obviously significant, and that

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Cost per linear metre

Hand Weeding by contractor

£00.32

Hot water treatment by contractor

£00.26

Glyphosate treatment by contractor

£00.23

Foamstream factoring in costs of diesel, foam, in-house application, van and water. Excluding initial cost of equipment

£00.07

Invasive species This is a serious concern for local authorities and green space managers as there are legal requirements and health and safety issues that mean invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed need to be controlled and eradicated. If invasive species are not managed responsibly it is possible that under the Infrastructure Act 2015 a species control order could be handed to the land owner which could incur significant costs. Similarly with plants such as giant hogweed which pose the potential to harm the public there is an obvious necessity to ensure that they are eradicated.

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Again communication with the public is key. Letting them know that there might be a few more weeds, but the payoff is that they will not be exposed to potentially harmful chemicals can be a very effective method of overcoming this issue.

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Conclusions

In these instances, using a technique that keeps the use of herbicides to a minimum, such as stem injection, should be employed. Stem injection can be used on Japanese knotweed and other hollow stemmed invasive species and as the herbicide is injected directly into the stem rather than being applied by a foliar spray it reduces the amount of pesticides and the possibility of any spray drift onto adjacent areas. A number of companies currently provide stem injection systems in the UK and offering training courses on its use.20 21

In summary, going pesticide-free is desirable and achievable but not always straight-forward. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed and these will often be specific to the area that you are working in. But for any pesticide-free plan to work, there are three key requirements;

66 Support from the public 66 Political support from the councillors 66 A willingness to look to the long-term

There is the possibility that there will be complaints from the public about the use of pesticides to control invasive species, particularly if you are advertising yourself as a pesticidefree council. This again highlights the where the importance of public engagement. You must let your residents know what you are doing and why and explain why this is the only approach to deal with the particular problem. Good communication is vital.

You will see from the preceding report that many issues need to be addressed to go pesticidefree, but we hope that by breaking it down into its constituent parts, it will look a bit less daunting. The final piece of advice is to make it clear what you are doing – and why – to all that need to know, whether they are Councillors, Council Officers and particularly the public. The public can be your greatest ally, so communicating effectively with them is crucial. Hopefully the information provided in this report has provided some solutions to potential problems and also ideas for taking things forward. PAN UK is more than happy to assist you as you undertake the rewarding task of making the pesticide-free vision a reality. Good luck and please do keep us informed of your progress.

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TOOLKIT Framing a pesticide policy

“Policy on the use of pesticides

Having a policy on pesticide use for your council is of great importance; the public has a right to know how, where, and why, potentially harmful chemicals are being applied in the area that they live. Likewise, they also have a right to know if the council is committed to going pesticide-free or is at least trying to actively minimise the amount of pesticides being used.

The Parks and Open Spaces Service has been moving away from using chemicals wherever practical, replacing their use with cultural and manual methods. Pesticides are no longer used in Green Flag Park sites or play grounds, except where pesticides offer the only effective option such as in the treatment of some persistent weeds. The council no longer uses chemicals to control plant diseases (other than on fine turf areas) preferring to plant resistant species and improve its plant maintenance regimes.

Pesticide policies vary considerably from council to council, few have a fully comprehensive policy on pesticide use that discusses all the issues. Many will simply provide statements on their use in parks or on roads and fail to mention other pesticide uses. And some will have little or no detail about what is being done. This can be worrying for the public and also opens the council up to criticism for not being open about its use of pesticides.

In non-Green Flag sites, specialist trained contractors are employed to control weeds in selected situations. There is no blanket application of spray. Individual weeds are sprayed on their leaves with a contact herbicide that moves through the plant to kill it. This means that only areas with current growth are treated. This restricts applications to lightly trafficked paved areas. A maximum of three applications are made each year. In exceptional circumstances a residual herbicide (one that stays in the soil surface for several months) may be used to provide control in known problem areas, though the emphasis remains on the reduction of usage of this type of herbicide.

A clear and comprehensive pesticide policy for the council is something that all councils should be aiming to deliver. Your policy is a perfect opportunity for you to communicate with the public about what you are doing and how you are aiming to achieve your objective. Ideally your policy will be an outline of how you are going pesticide-free and should include;

66 The rationale for going pesticide-free 66 Where you are trialling a pesticide-free

The borough occasionally has infestations of the Browntail moth. The caterpillars of this species of moth have fine hairs that can cause irritation or occasionally more serious reactions in humans. Where infestations are found, they are pruned out and the arisings disposed of; pesticides are no longer used to treat this problem.

approach and details of the trial area, what the trials are and how long the trial will last

66 What you hope to achieve by going pesticidefree including the benefits for the public

66 Where you have historically used pesticides 66 Details on any reductions in pesticide use that

Some pesticides are used on the council’s four bowling greens to maintain the fine grass surface that is required for this sport, including fungicides to control turf diseases and lumbricides to reduce worm casts and prevent root damage by leather jacket larvae. In these locations our trained greenkeepers use their experience to ensure that treatments are kept

you have already achieved

The following are examples of some current pesticide policies from UK Councils: Tower Hamlets, in London, provides a comprehensive policy but only for parks. But it clearly lays out why they are doing so.

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a toolkit for local authorities

Where are weeds treated? All pavements and kerbs in residential roads are treated to control weeds. The edges of paths immediately adjacent to walls or buildings are also treated when necessary.

to a minimum and are carried out in a safe and timely way. Rats and other pests are monitored and outbreaks controlled only as and when necessary by the council’s pest control service.”22

Who treats the weeds? In most areas across Surrey (except Tandridge), the district or borough council treats the weeds on our behalf.

Surrey County Council provides a very thorough policy on why, where and how it uses herbicides to control weeds. “Weed control

To find out more information about weed treatment in your area, or to make any enquiries, please contact your local district or borough council using the links found in the section at the bottom of this page.

What is a weed? A weed is a plant growing in a location where it is not wanted. On our highways, any plants growing in pavements and kerbs or around drains and street furniture, are weeds.

When are weeds treated? Most residential roads in Surrey are treated once a year in the spring, with a second and third applications later in the year if necessary. There may be local variation.

Why control weeds? Weeds are controlled for the following reasons: • Appearance - weeds detract from the overall appearance of an area and trap litter

The sprays are timed to coincide with the weed growth for maximum control.

• Safety - weed growth can interfere with visibility for road users and obscure traffic signs. Weeds in kerbs or around drains can prevent or slow down drainage. Their growth on pavements may damage their surface causing broken and uneven slabs.

Weeds and legislation There are five weeds listed in the Weeds Act 1959, Spear Thistle, Creeping or Field Thistle, Curled Dock, Broad Leaved Dock and Common ragwort. Surrey County Council will remove ragwort on highway verges where there is, in our view, a high risk of ragwort spreading to land used for the grazing of horses, other grazing animals, or for the production of animal feed.

• Structure - weed growth can destroy paving surfaces, force kerbs apart and crack walls, greatly increasing our maintenance costs. How are weeds controlled? Weeds are controlled using environmentally friendly and effective herbicides. When the herbicide is applied to a weed, usually by spraying, it works its way through the plant killing it completely. On contact with soil the herbicide breaks down into harmless substances.

Under section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it can be an offence to plant or grow certain specified plants in the wild, including Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed. There is no statutory requirement for landowners to remove these plants from their property but it is an offence to allow them to spread to adjacent land.”23

The herbicides used in Surrey have a very low toxicity to humans, animals and insects and can be used in areas open to the public and their pets. In areas close to water courses and reservoirs, herbicides are not used.

In contrast to the two preceding policies, Haringey Council in London has used brevity. Whilst this approach is not uncommon and certainly not restricted only to Haringey it doesn’t deliver any substance. The sentiment is well intentioned, but without any detail it provides nothing of use for the public or indeed the Council Officers charged with implementing this policy. It would be best to avoid such simplistic policy outlines.

We regularly consult with independent experts for advice on weed control and related issues, to ensure that we are fully up-to-date with changes in legislation, herbicide recommendations and commercial practice.

“We aim to minimise pesticide use”

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Notice of Motions

to start in July this year and asks officers to inform Members of the Committee as to which alternatives are being trialled (by its meeting th on 28 June) and report on the progress of those trials to the same Committee at its th meeting on 29 November this year.

Council Motions Changing to a pesticide-free regime is a decision that cannot always be taken independently by council officers – whether that is waste, street cleaning or parks. Political support is usually required from councillors and in particular to allow for any budgetary changes that might be necessary.

This was a fairly simple, straight forward motion outlining exactly what they wanted to see and including time frames for reporting on progress.

In order to assist the relevant departments to go pesticide-free, the decision and support of the council is vital. It is possible that the executive will simply adopt a pesticide-free policy as was the case in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, in which case that is official council policy and officers be supported to achieve that goal.

Notice of Motion to Oxford City Council This council notes that there is growing evidence that glyphosate is a higher health risk than previously assumed, and that the World Health Organisation has recently upgraded glyphosate to ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’*,with growing understanding of the damages caused by other chemical weed killers and pesticides to health and the environment.

In councils where the Chief Executive has not been the main driving force for the change, it is possible for a member of members of the Council to introduce a Motion for debate and voting. This was the path taken by Brighton & Hove council. A motion was put forward by a councillor and was discussed at a full council meeting and subsequently adopted by a unanimous council vote, thus becoming official council policy.

It further notes that other local councils in Britain, Hammersmith & Fulham being the most recent, have already decided to ban the use of glyphosate and other chemicals from their own operations. This is in the wake of large cities all over the world - such as Chicago and Paris - who have already decided on a ban and the Netherlands and Denmark which have banned the use of glyphosate in urban areas.

Whilst council officers are not in a position to submit a Motion for debate to the full council they can still input into the contents of a motion and also show that their department is supportive of the objectives outlined by said Motion.

Therefore this council resolves to/asks the CEB:

• Pledge to cut out the use of glyphosate

completely, in all its in-house operations (including in Parks, and Streetscene) within one year. The one exception would be in dealing with the Japanese knotweed, an aggressive invasive plant, currently without any other means of controlling. However, in this case glyphosate will only be steminjected, rather than sprayed, to reduce its spread in the environment.

Motions can be as long, or short, detailed or general as is thought necessary by the councillor submitting them. Some examples of motions that have been submitted are given below; Notice of Motion to Brighton & Hove Council Council resolves to:

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• Consider the one year period until the ban

takes effect as a testing period, during which the council will test non-chemical and mechanical alternatives.

To request that the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee gives consideration to trying non-chemical and mechanical alternatives during the testing period due

• Use the opportunity of the end of the

current weed spraying contract in XXX 2018 to request the contractor ceases to use

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Request the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee to request officers to use the opportunity of the end of the current weed spraying contract in April 2017 to end the use of Glyphosate in our city; and

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glyphosate, or find another local contractor who will abide by a glyphosate ban.

Conclusion Motions can be useful tools for getting council support for going pesticide free. It is important that council officers should be able to input into the process and possibly the development of motions. There is no one size fits all approach and motions will differ depending on local circumstances.

* The WHO concluded there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals: “The IARC Working Group that conducted the evaluation considered the significant findings from the US EPA report and several more recent positive results in concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, although it gave negative results in tests using bacteria.”

One possibility is that the relevant council officers are present and give supporting evidence at the time the motion is to be debated.

This is a much longer motion than the previous exmple and gives a lot of background detail, but still sets out a timeframe to accompany the requested actions. This motion was not passed by Oxford City Council when it was debated although it did receive support, but not a majority. Notice of Motion to Glastonbury Town Council With regard to the health and environmental risks associated with glyphosate, this Council requests that the subcontractors employed by Mendip District Council discontinue the use of ‘Glyfos’ and all products containing glyphosate in this town, in favour of a more environmentally friendly product or other solution, in line with our Environmental Charter.

This is a much shorter motion than either of the other examples and, whilst specific in its request to end the use of glyphosate, is quite broad in how it seeks to achieve this goal. The motion was adopted and Glastonbury has ceased the use of glyphosate.

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Sample Report to Cabinet ENVIRONMENT CABINET MEMBER’S/ COMMITTEE Agenda Item XXX Council

Subject:

Becoming a pesticide-free borough / city

Date of Meeting: xxx 2016 Report of:

xxx Officer

Ward(s) affected: All Contact Officer: xxx

Email: xxx

FOR GENERAL RELEASE 1. PURPOSE OF REPORT AND POLICY CONTEXT 1.1 1.1 To set out the case for going pesticide-free as a borough in order for an informed decision to be taken by the council. This is in line with council’s commitment to environmental improvement and improving public health, as set out in (insert relevant Council policy). 2. RECOMMENDATIONS: 2.1 That the Cabinet Member / Committee decides that the borough /city will go pesticide-free. 2.2 That the Cabinet Member / Committee requires the Environment Director to bring to the next meeting a timetable for this, setting out the council’s current uses of pesticides, and in line with the re-letting of the contract for weed spraying. 3. CONTEXT/ BACKGROUND INFORMATION The Problem 3.1 Pesticides – including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides – are used in our borough to control a range of perceived problems including weeds and vermin. They are used in schools, parks, playgrounds, hospitals and on our streets. These are all areas used, on a daily basis, by our residents and visitors – and often by those most vulnerable to the adverse effects of pesticides: elderly people, young children and pregnant women. 3.2 Pesticide use can have serious human health impacts, harm biodiversity and contaminate water supplies. There is growing evidence that glyphosate – the most commonly-used “systemic” weedkiller – is a higher health risk than previously assumed, with growing understanding of the damages caused by other chemical weed killers and pesticides to health and the environment. Childhood health problems and diseases including childhood leukaemia, Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder, allergies, and endocrine and immune system disruption have been linked to increases in pesticide use.24 3.3 In April 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer – part of the World Health Organisation – concluded that Glyphosate – the most widely used pesticide in our urban areas – is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Other studies have linked glyphosate to birth defects and even the rise in antibiotic resistance.

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3.4 Pesticide use has a negative effect on urban wildlife and has been identified as a contributory factor in the decline of hedgehogs, for example. 3.5 Finally, pesticides sprayed onto the hard surfaces in towns and cities rapidly run off into drains and sewers and can find their way into water supplies, the cost for removing pesticides from our water supplies runs into the £ millions per annum. Going Pesticide-free 3.6 Ending the use of pesticides in urban areas is becoming more common. Hundreds of villages, towns and cities around the world have reduced, and even in some cases banned, pesticide use in their areas. In France, for example, some 306 towns and villages have gone completely pesticide-free and a further 350 are largely pesticide-free but with some uses deemed as essential permitted. Large cities like Copenhagen, Paris, Rotterdam, Seattle and Tokyo all restrict or ban pesticide use in public spaces. 3.7 Public “pesticide-free” campaigns by residents across the UK are on the increase and several local authorities have already gone pesticide-free: Brighton, Hammersmith & Fulham, Glastonbury, with others set to follow suit.

4. ANALYSIS & CONSIDERATION OF ANY ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS 4.1 The Cabinet Member / Council has a duty to safeguard the well-being of the borough’s residents, as well as to its own staff. So it needs to take due regard of changes in risk and so consider a precautionary approach wherever possible. 4.2 One alternative option is to trial non-chemical and mechanical alternatives during a testing period, during the summer and to require officers to inform Members of the Committee as to which alternatives are being trialed and of the methodology. This option is recommended in the short term in order to identify what alternative systems are available for weed and pest control across the town / borough, and allow the town / borough to make an informed choice once the specifics of efficacy, ease of use and cost implications have been assessed. It would be necessary to continue with the existing spray and treatment regime outside of trial areas so this is not the most precautionary approach but more a fact finding exercise. 4.3 Another option is to go pesticide-free for almost all uses, but to retain very limited use of a systemic pesticide for Japanese Knotweed, a highly invasive plant which the authority is bound to control effectively by law on any sites where it occurs. This option is recommended as it would meet the requirements of a precautionary approach of stopping the use of pesticides in order to protect residents and the environment from potentially harmful effects and it would allow the town / borough to meet its legal requirements for dealing with invasive plant species. However, it is essential that the least harmful method for invasive species eradication is adopted to be in line with a pesticide-free / reduction policy. 4.4 There is also an option to reduce the frequency of spraying – effectively tolerating more weeds and growth in pavements – and thus reducing both residents’ and staff exposure to pesticides. This would also have the advantage of reducing expenditure – or at least offsetting some of the increase that has come about due to longer growing seasons resulting from climate change. This is not recommended at this time because it requires public support and education, and sends a mixed message about the reasons for going pesticide-free. It may be useful to consider a public consultation about elements of this in due course.

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5. COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & CONSULTATION 5.1 The decision of this meeting / committee should be used to promote a dialogue with residents about the pesticide-free approach and to gauge support for this.

6. CONCLUSION 6.1 The reasons for going pesticide-free as a borough are sound and the council should begin this process as soon as possible. 7. FINANCIAL & OTHER IMPLICATIONS: Financial Implications: 7.1 The pesticide-free approach is broadly cost-neutral if a combination of alternatives is adopted. There is to date limited experience from other councils as this is a relatively new concept. But where systems have been trialled or adopted it has been seen that the costs are broadly in line with current pesticide regimes. We recommend that in the first instance an audit of current Council spending on pesticides, including herbicides, fungicides and insecticides is undertaken. We further recommend that contact is made with councils that have recently converted to pesticide free in order that we can assess their experiences and knowledge of costs. Finance Officer Consulted: Date: …. 2016 Legal Implications: 7.2 There are legal implications regarding the treatment and eradication of Japanese Knotweed and other invasive species. The Infrastructure Act 2015, for example, gives relevant agencies the authority to pass down a control order to landowners if they are not adequately controlling invasive species. This could have serious cost implications if the situation were to arise. We would recommend that systems such as stem injection are looked into as they can provide a more environmentally sensitive approach to dealing with invasive species. Equalities Implications: 7.3 There is evidence to suggest that the negative public health impacts of using pesticides has a disproportionate effect on some groups within our population (see para 3.1 above) and therefore going pesticide-free has positive implications for equalities in the borough. Sustainability Implications: 7.4 There are positive sustainability implications arising from the report: improved public health and happiness; a reduction in environmental harm to wildlife; and an improvement in run-off pollution, reducing the energy-intensive need to strip pesticides out of water. 7.5 Any Other Significant Implications: None SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION Appendices: Documents in Members’ Rooms Background Documents Notes

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Organising a trial of alternatives

the same conditions on different parts of the area. 6. One part of the area should be left untreated as a control.

Trialling alternatives Switching to a pesticide-free regime is not something that can happen overnight. It is essential that efficient, properly conducted trials be carried out in order to find the best solution for your specific situation, to build public support for the switch, and to identify and develop solutions to any potential problems.

7. Document the areas being trialled before treatment with photographs to show the level of weed growth and to identify the species of weeds being treated. 8. Document the area immediately after treatment with photo-graphs. 9. Ensure that the trial areas and different treatments areas are mapped correctly to allow for proper assessment of the effectiveness of the treatments over the following weeks.

The design of the trial is of paramount importance in order to ascertain what is possible, determine effectiveness of controls, to examine costs and to make it able for you to report back in detail to the Council.

10. Return to the treatment areas on a regular basis over at least a 12 week period to assess regrowth and effectiveness of the treatments. These site visits should ideally be carried out on a fortnightly basis. At each visit document with photographs the areas treated.

It is a given that no two councils will have the exact same requirements and that variations in environment and geography will mean that the approach to controlling weeds and pests is site specific. Another factor to consider is who undertakes the work; will it be conducted by an in-house team, or contracted out? You may need to work with your current contractor or discuss options with other contractors about how they operate and whether they can deliver a pesticidefree control system. But there are some general principles that need to be taken into account when designing an effective trial protocol, whether undertaken by a contractor or by your own team.

11. Your final assessment should be a full summary of how the trial was conducted, which treatments were used, why the areas for the trial were chosen and be accompanied by an assessment of the effectiveness of the treatments accompanied by the photographic evidence you have gathered. 12. Make an economic assessment of the treatments. This can best be carried out in consultation with the contractor or sup-plier of the trial equipment. However, there are many things that need to be factored in when making an assessment, examples of which are, but not limited to;

1. Undertake a full audit of your current system, where spraying takes place, how frequent the applications are and why these areas need to be sprayed 2. Look at the locations that are being treated and note the different types of area; for example, rural roads and paths, parks and green spaces, old cobbled streets, modern paved areas such as shopping centres, areas of housing such as estates, etc. 3. Choose a selection of areas for the trial that best reflects all the types of location that are currently being treated.

a.

Staff time

b.

Material costs

c.

Staff training for both herbicide use and any required for non-chemical alternatives

d.

Time lost for spraying due to weather conditions

13. Also record benefits – e.g. ability to conduct operations in poor weather (e.g. rain) not having to delay/reschedule and incur additional costs for staff down time;

4. Look at the variety of treatment options that are available. Details of these are given on p5.

14. Record public feedback – how was it welcomed by residents?

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5. Within each area or area type, organise for treatments to be given at the same time under

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Pesticides currently used in amenity applications

The most widely used class of active were herbicides; glyphosate, MCPA, 2,4-D and MCPP. All of the 15 most widely used pesticides have some kind of link to health problems. The following table shows this top 15 in detail. The classifications are taken from a wide varie-ty of sources and different regulatory authorities around the world.26

The amenity sector covers a very wide range of different pesticide uses and consequently a wide range of different types of pesticides are used for differing purposes. The most recent survey of amenity pesticide use, undertaken by the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) was published in 2012.25 That report looked at both the quantitative and qualitative use of pesticides in the amenity sector.

The full list of the 41 types of pesticide used: Glyphosate, Ferrous-sulphate, MCPA 67, 2,4D, MCPP, Glyphosate-trimesium, Carbendazim, Dicamba, Triclopyr, 2,4-DP, Iprodione, Diflufenican, Chlorpyrifos-e, Tebuconazole, Cypermethrin, Trifloxystrobin, Fluroxypyr, Chlorothalonil, Dichlorprop-P, Propiconazole, Metaldehyde, Glufosinate-ammonium, Azoxystrobin, Pyraclostrobin, Clopyralid, Picloram, Imidacloprid, Pyrethrins, Alphacypermethrin, Deltamethrin, Permethrin, Piperonyl-butoxide, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Isoxaben, Flufenoxuron, Tetramethrin, Florasulam, Phenothrin, Indoxacarb, Flazasulfuron, Abamectin.

In total it showed that there were then 41 different types of active substance used in the amenity sector. There are many more different products that contain these 41 active substances, details of authorised products and active sub-stances can be found via the Chemicals Regulation Direc-torate Plant Protection Products database (https://secure. pesticides.gov.uk/pestreg/ProdSearch.asp)

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Use

Acutely Toxic

Carcinogen

Glyphosate

Herbicide

MCPA

Herbicide

2,4-D

Herbicide

Probable

MCPP

Herbicide

Possible

Carbendazim

Fungicide

Possible

Dicamba

Herbicide

2,4-DP

Herbicide

Possible

Iprodione

Fungicide

Yes

Chlopyrifos

Insecticide

Moderate

Tebuconazole

Fungicide

Moderate

Cypermethrin

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Cholinesterase Inhibitor

Developmental or Reproductive Toxin

Endocrine Disruptor

Probable Yes

Possible

Suspected Yes Suspected Yes

Suspected

Possible

Suspected

Insecticide

Possible

Suspected

Chlorothalonil

Fungicide

Yes

Dichlorprop

Herbicide

Yes

Propiconazole

Fungicide

Moderate

Possible

Metaldehyde

Molluscicide

Moderate

Possible

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a toolkit for local authorities

Information for the public

During trials of non-chemical control methods This really is a critical time to engage the public. During the trials it is likely that there will be a lot of attention focussed on the trial area. The public will see a variety of things, new machines, hand weeding, spraying with acetic acid and the areas that have not been treated as controls. There are likely to be a lot of questions from the curious public so getting in first with comprehensive information on what is going on and why it is happening will help to deal with such questions before they are even asked, saving you time.

Keeping the public informed about what you are doing is an important element of any plan to go pesticide-free. As mentioned in the main document there are a number of instances where communication with the public can really help you achieve your objectives successfully. The key points for communication are; Prior to adopting any plan – to inform the public that you have been trying to reduce the overall use of pesticides

Signage in the trial areas that explains the situation is one very good way of informing the curious passer-by. Again providing information on your website and in the local media will also help to explain to the public what is happening.

As already mentioned there may well be a lot of public concern about the use of pesticides in your area, with campaigns and petitions running. It is useful if you are already reducing the use of pesticides to communicate this fact to the public. Make it clear what you have been and are doing and encourage them to support you in this. Notices on your council website or specific department website or in the local media can be effective outlets for such information.

Information on the different systems being trialled, what they are and how they work as well as a rationale for why some areas are being left untreated is all important to include. A map of the areas that are part of the trial will also be a useful inclusion.

In areas that are already pesticide-free In areas, such as parks, where you have already stopped using pesticides letting the public know will give them confidence that you are serious about reducing their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals. Simply putting a sign up, such as those developed by PAN UK, to declare an area as a pesticide-free zone is a simple method for achieving this (see picture).

Once the scheme has been adopted and is rolled out This is the time to announce that your town or city is pesticide-free. Make a big splash, perhaps have an event and invite the media. Tell the world about your good news and blow your own trumpet. Place signs around the town; use it as an advertisement for your town. If there is a need to control invasive species using pesticides This is a difficult area and it can, if not handled properly, undermine confidence in the good work that you are doing. It is important to explain clearly to the public that you are required to remove invasive species and that whilst you are having to use pesticides to do so you are using them in the most minimal and least harmful way possible, if you are using them at all.

Once a decision has been taken to go pesticide-free Following the decision to move towards a pesticide free strat-egy, the public should be informed about this positive direc-tion the council is taking. This is a good news story and an opportunity to spread the word about your work. It is likely that any decision made by the council will be reported in the minutes of the particular meeting but an article in the local press and an announcement on your website will also help to spread the message.

Using signage in the areas you are operating in will help and also informing people in advance and during invasive species control, via your website, will help to reassure the public that you are not rolling back the pesticide-free approach.

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References 1.

http://www.panna.org/resources/publication-report/report-generation-jeopardy

2.

http://www.pan-uk.org/news/pan-international-releases-new-glyphosate-review

3.

http://www.who.int/ipcs/assessment/public_health/pesticides/en/

4.

“Diffuse Pollution of Water by Agriculture” – PostNote Number 478 October 2014 – Houses of Parliament Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

5.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/221034/pb13894-nappesticides-20130226.pdf

6.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-pollinator-strategy-for-bees-and-otherpollinators-in-england

7.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/providing-and-protecting-habitat-for-wild-birds

8.

http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/

9.

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=528

10. https://weedmanagementadvisory.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/nz-at-hria-141120_1.pdf 11. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/11/two-thirds-of-europeans-support-ban-onglyphosate-says-yougov-poll 12. http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/policies-and-plans/pesticide-reduction 13. http://www.pesticide-free-towns.info/stories-principles 14. https://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_docs/programs/ipmnet/VinegarAnAlternativeToGlyphosate-UMD-Smith-Fiola-and-Gill.pdf 15. See for example Foamstream, developed by the UK company Weedingtech http://weedingtech.com/ 16. The main system in the UK has been developed by Cardley Wave - www.cardley-group.com/cardley-wave. 17. For example the system developed by Ubiqutec http://ubiqutek.com/about/ 18. https://www.royalparks.org.uk/be-involved/volunteering-in-the-royal-parks/volunteering-opportunities/ the-woodland-gardens-volunteers-bushy-park 19. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/47501 20. http://www.nomixenviro.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=212:stem-injection-ofjapanese-knotweed&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=18 21. http://www.groundsmantraining.co.uk/courses/stem-injection-training/ 22. http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/lgnl/leisure_and_culture/parks_and_open_spaces/maintaining_parks/ policy_on_the_use_of_pesticide.aspx 23. https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/road-maintenance-and-cleaning/trees-grass-andvegetation/weed-control 24. See PAN Asia Pacific study: Poisoning our Future – Children and Pesticides study http://www.panap. net/sites/default/files/Poisoning-Our-Future-Children-and-Pesticides.pdf 25. https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/pusstats/surveys/documents/amenity2012v2.pdf 26. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Search_Chemicals.jsp

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Who are Pesticide Action Network UK?

Contact PAN UK

PAN UK is based in Brighton. We are the only UK charity focused solely on addressing the harm caused by chemical pesticides. We work tirelessly to apply pressure to governments, regulators, policy makers, industry and retailers to reduce the impact of harmful pesticides.

The Green Hub The Brighthelm Centre North Road Brighton BN1 1YD Telephone: 01273 964230 Email: pesticide-free@pan-uk.org

Find out more about our work at: www.pan-uk.org/pesticide-free

Follow PAN UK

Support Pesticide Action Network UK You can donate to PAN UK at: www.justgiving.com/ pesticideactionnetworkuk or text PEST23 £3/£5/£10 to 70070 (e.g. Text PEST23 £3 to donate £3)

pan-uk.org facebook.com/ PesticideActionNetworkUK twitter: @pan_uk

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It doesn’t have to be this way...

Pesticide Free Towns - A Toolkit for Local Authorities  
Pesticide Free Towns - A Toolkit for Local Authorities