A weed is a plant out of place. The Town Council is committed to undertaking grounds maintenance using methods which have minimum damaging impact on the natural environment. In keeping with this it will:
- Prevent by design. Whenever there is the opportunity to influence the design of new features or modify existing ones, control of weeds will be considered when determining materials, siting, angles etc. At all times, preference will be given to incorporating design features which will minimise weed growth. Ground covering plants will be preferred where appropriate over other types of plant.
- Prevent by maintenance. Routine maintenance such as sweeping of hard surfaces, mulching etc. will be undertaken as required, as will weeding by hoe and hand where appropriate. This policy will apply to Council staff, the areas for which the Council is responsible and to all contractors working on those areas. The Council will identify and list areas under its control where weed control is not required and amend this when circumstance or land under its control change.
- The herbicide currently (September 2015) approved for use is glyphosate (non-persistent, breaking down into neutral compounds on contract with soil). This will remain the only approved chemical until such time as it shown to be damaging to wildlife or causing environmental damage, at which time a suitable alternative will be sought. An alternative may also be sought if a different treatment is required for a specific problem where glyphosate is ineffective. The problem and possible solution will be referred to committee for approval, after taking advice from Natural England, the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency. Records of applications will be kept detailing date, area covered, operator, weather conditions.
- When it has been decided that glyphosate must be used because of the failure of 1 and 2 above to be effective, the application will be discussed with the Green Spaces Manager. At all times application will be over the minimum area possible and at the most effective time in the weed growth cycle. The use of a herbicide is the method of weed control of last resort.
- Only certified operators complying with Health and Safety legislation will be allowed to handle and use spraying equipment and herbicides.