15 Feb 2016

Environment

Mayor announces Glyphosate-free weed treatment trial

‚ÄčA new, Glyphosate-free weed treatment will be trialled on Bristol streets from March this year, Bristol Mayor George Ferguson has announced.

The pilot will take place in Cotham Ward, with agreement from local members Cllr Dani Glazzard and Cllr Anthony Negus. It is due to begin on 1 March and will run for 12 months, to capture the effectiveness of alternative methods year-round.

Bristol City Council has been reviewing evidence about the safety of Glyphosate and is currently only using very small amounts of the product for treating weeds on hard surfaces.

This pilot will further the council’s understanding of the effectiveness of alternative weed treatments and responds to a growing public concern about the use of Glyphosate as a weed killer.

It will also showcase how local streets may look as a result – as well as assessing the costs associated with different treatments.

Mayor Ferguson said,

“I am very aware of the public concerns about the use of Glyphosate in our city. I think the best way for us to better understand the issue is to address it head on. So we have set up a Glyphosate-free ward as a pilot to give us a ‘real-world’ view of the impact of alternative treatments on weed growth on Bristol’s streets, pavements and car parks. 

“The pilot will help us understand if these treatments work satisfactorily and will help us assess the related costs.  The treatments may or may not work as well as Glyphosate so I for one will be eagerly awaiting the results.”

At last month’s Full Council meeting, Cllr Gus Hoyt (Green Party, Ashley Ward) presented a petition on behalf of the petition organisers. The petition is hosted on the campaign website 38 degrees and has gained more than 6000 signatures in favour of a ban.

The pilot will start in March and run for 12 months, as part of the council’s regular weed treatment regime. Results from the trial will be assessed by the council.

ENDS