Ask your Council to become pesticide-free.

17th June 2019
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In March 2019, Trafford Council agreed to phase out the use of all pesticides and weed killers on council land and to cut out the use of glyphosate based treatments in all council operations in one year.

Please write to your local councillors (you can find contact details through the Write to Them website) and ask them to become pesticide-free.

See below for a sample letter – feel free to add your own comments. Let us know what responses you get – please send to office@manchesterfoe.org.uk

Sample letter

As a local resident, I am calling on …………….. council to support the Pesticide Action Network’s Pesticide-Free Towns campaign and become pesticide-free.

As a result of habitat loss and the large quantities of pesticides used in UK agriculture, wildlife is increasingly seeking refuge in our towns and cities. However, the overuse of pesticides is contaminating many of the areas where they can forage for food and destroying the natural resources they depend upon. As a result, the populations of many kinds of wildlife have collapsed in recent years. A 2017 study revealed a 76% decline in flying insects since 1990. We also know that pollinators such as bees are particularly struggling.

Pesticides are poisons and unfortunately can harm more than just the “pests” at which they are targeted. They are toxic, and exposure to pesticides can cause a number of adverse health effects and has even been linked to a range of serious illnesses in humans, from respiratory problems to cancer.

In our towns and cities, local councils are the main users of pesticides, which are widely sprayed in parks, playgrounds and other green spaces, road verges, cemeteries, pavements and around council houses.

A growing number of places around the world have already gone pesticide-free and have proved that this can be done by adopting other measures such as hot water-based foams and acetic acid solutions. In the UK, Lewes District Council and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham have taken this step. In March 2019, Trafford Council agreed to phase out the use of all pesticides and weed killers on council land and to cut out the use of glyphosate based treatments in all council operations in one year.

Urban pesticides are unnecessary as well as dangerous and should be banned immediately in order to protect human health and the environment.

I am calling on my council to pledge to become pesticide-free by:

  • Undertaking trials and pilot schemes for alternatives to pesticides.
  • Organising a full council debate on the subject of going pesticide-free.
  • Developing a motion to be adopted by the council calling for an end to the use of pesticides on all areas of land under council control.
  • Supporting the council’s parks and green spaces managers in going pesticide-free.
  • Working with council officers to plant pesticide-free urban wildflower meadows to create a haven for bees and other wildlife.
  • Promoting the concept of going pesticide-free to other organisations and officers with responsibility for grounds maintenance (e.g. universities, companies which manage transport infrastructure, housing estate managers etc.)
  • Communicating with members of the public about the benefits of going pesticide free.

Yours sincerely

For more information see the Pesticide Action Network and Friends of the Earth Europe briefings on Glyphosate.