Planet Wimborne is campaigning for the use of glyphosate to be drastically reduced by Dorset Council and also for the public to be more discriminating in their choice of weed control. This is based on the mounting scientific evidence of the harmful effects of glyphosates, not only to aquatic life but also to insects such as bees. There is also concern that it might be a human carcinogen. Next year the European Commission will weigh up such evidence when deciding on whether to renew its approval of glyphosate as an active substance in plant protection products.
Wilding Wimborne, Planet Wimborne and XR Wimborne have all protested against Dorset Council spraying glyphosate on Wimborne roads and pavements because of the danger to bees and insects. Wimborne Minster Town Council is yet to join the pesticide free town action network (Pesticide Free Towns' Campaign), although it has confirmed they do not use glyphosate pesticides in the town.
However, Dorset Council continues to use glyphosate weedkiller on roads and to control invasive species, such as Japanese knotweed and for amenity management, such as golf courses and cricket pitches. Other Councils in the UK have banned the use of such pesticides and introduced more environmentally friendly control methods.
What can you do?
There are a number of more environmentally friendly alternatives to using glyphosate weedkillers:
- Love your weeds - after all a weed is just a plant in the wrong place and may well be insect friendly
- Weed by hand
- Apply mulch or wood chippings to suppress weed growth
- Select plants that outcompete weeds
- Apply hot water or vinegar directly to control weeds
- Choose to use non-glyphosate weedkillers. Look at the products in your local garden centre to find more environmentally friendly products. Planet Wimborne has recently written to local garden centres asking them to make it easier for customers to identify glyphosate-free products on their shelves and to do more to educate the public about more environmentally friendly products.
We can all take action to reduce the amount of poisons we use in the garden. You can also make your voices heard by contacting your local councillor to protest against the use of glyphosate by Dorset Council.