Pesticide ban threatens

Pesticide use in amenity areas in the UK is again under threat. Last year the industry exerted influence on MEPs to block the European Environment Committee’s proposal to severely restrict or ban the use of pesticides in public places. One year on and the issue is back on the European agenda.

If you are a groundsman, greenkeeper or open space manager, listen up, pleads chairman of the Amenity Forum Jon Allbutt, as the organisation prepares again to fight the possibility of a prohibition on herbicides and pesticides.  There is a prospect, a very real prospect that, if this goes through, we will end up not being able to use chemical in amenity areas.  It is time people woke up to the fact.

The argument for retaining pesticide usage is freshly debated by the Amenity Forum and the organisation now wants individuals in the grounds maintenance industry to lobby their MEPs.

If herbicides and pesticides are withdrawn, the alternatives are hugely more expensive and frankly local authorities and others are not going be able to afford them, says Allbutt.
A ban might tempt some managers to spray illegally, perhaps at night using non-amenity products or whatever chemicals they can secure from abroad.

The Amenity Forum deploys anything but following the code of practice, anything that is not directly in line with the law, Allbutt continues.  The foundation on which we stand is that since statutorily since 1986 we have had an excellent system that restricts pesticides – and it works.  It is risk based and founded on scientific evidence, not on political feeling.

Individuals must not sit around in the expectation that others are doing something about it. Everyone must contact their local MEP now.  If people want to contact the Amenity Forum on info@amenity.org.uk, we will send them the text, says Allbutt.

-  Thanks to the Institute of Groundsmanship and the generosity of sponsors Scotts Professional, visitors to IoG Saltex will receive the Amenity Forum’s Check your Sprayer leaflet in their welcome pack.  The leaflet details best practice for regular checks, including who should undertake the inspection, a full list of what should be checked and a guide to recording the data.


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