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Weedkiller-free parks trial

Many of you have told us you would like us to use less weedkiller on our parks and open spaces. Also, the government is under pressure to ban glyphosates, which are commonly used in weedkillers.

So we have stopped using weedkiller at Coleridge recreation groundand St Albans Road recreation ground, to see what happens.

This trial will help us determine how we might manage our parks in the near future. It will give us an idea of how they will look and what will grow there if we stop using weedkiller completely.

The trial will initially run until March 2019, after which we’ll consider whether to continue and do the same at other parks.

We don’t expect to save any money during this trial, because we’ll continue to use weedkiller at our other parks and open spaces wherever we cannot use ride-on mowers.

We use a Defra-approved biodegradable herbicide, of which glyphosate is the active ingredient. This only works on green leaves and degrades on contact with the soil. Our fully trained staff apply the herbicide through a knapsack sprayer.

Reduced strimming

We have also stopped regularly strimming grass around the trees, fences, furniture, bins and other obstacles at these two parks. This will reduce damage caused by the strimmers, and reduce the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome for our employees. We’ll strim these areas once at the end of the year, so they don’t become too unruly.

The main grass areas and grass around play equipment will still be cut or strimmed regularly.

Feedback

We are keen to know what you think about this trial – please send us any comments about it.

Tell what you consider important in regards to maintenance on our parks and open spaces.

Monitoring the trial

If this trial is deemed unsuccessful at any point, we will resume using weedkiller and rethink our future plans. This might happen if a large number of unresolvable issues are raised, for example.

We’ll consider strimming more regularly if necessary, for example for health and safety reasons.

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