Council pledges to cut down on pesticide use

Eastbourne is still treated with pesticide weed killers in certain areas despite the council’s aim to go pesticide-free.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 3:23 pm

Eastbourne Borough Council says it hasn’t used any chemical weed killers in any of its parks, open spaces or children’s play areas in the last year.

This is due to the 2019 policy brought out aiming to end the use of pesticides.

However, glyphosate pesticides are still used for weed control is on roads, pathways and footpaths on behalf of East Sussex County Council.

Councillor Jonathan Dow SUS-210315-122137001

Councillor Jonathan Dow, cabinet member for climate change, said, “We are doing our very best to stop using pesticides as a way of removing weeds and this is particularly poignant during spring when the warmer weather promotes growth of all nature, including weeds.

“There are unfortunately occasions carrying out this work when we have to use an approved pesticide.

“This is to prevent damage to the structures of the paths and roads and to reduce potential trip points, which may cause injury to pedestrians and expensive repairs.

“Where this is needed, we only apply a very small amount of pesticide to each weed and do not spray all of the pavement or road.

“We strive to have as little effect as we can on the environment when we remove these weeds while making sure Eastbourne retains its reputation for having beautiful public spaces for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

Cllr Dow said there are some ‘particularly troublesome’ weeds that need pesticide treatment.

He said, “We are continuously looking at new and innovative non-chemical weed control methods, such as using hot foam and vinegar-based weed killers. We will use these whenever possible.

“As soon as a viable alternative becomes available, we aim to further reduce and ultimately stop using pesticides altogether.”

Mechanical sweepers are being used more by the council and road sweeping operations have increased by 45 per cent since 2019.

These increases are to reduce weed growth in the first place and therefore cut down the need for pesticides.