At a recent presentation to professionals engaged in weed, pest and disease control, chairman Professor John Moverley said: "We need to increase public understanding of why what you do is so important and indeed essential. You know, but there is a requirement on all of us to communicate this message – to be proud of the vital tasks you undertake."
He added that "what you do often goes largely unseen and unnoticed, until of course something goes wrong such as an unsatisfactory sports pitch or an unsafe pavement created by undue weed growth".
"Increasing understanding of the importance of weed, pest and disease control is a priority task. It influences every aspect of our lives ensuring safe and sustainable environments on our streets, parks, utility and sports areas, our rail network and more.
"We live in an age of 24/7 news and instant communications. We need to allay misunderstandings and concerns. Properly regulated chemical use is an essential element in pest control programmes combined with other integrated approaches of design, cultivation, sweeping and the like."
"It is a fact that the process of bringing a new pesticide to the market is far more rigorous than that for many other common products used by the public including both pharmaceuticals and household cleaners. However we need to convey that message and the level of best practice and care that is taken."
The theme of this year's annual Amenity Forum conference is "Important and Essential", covering the wide range of issues facing the sector. It will be held at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton on Trent.
Delegate rates are £65, with a £15 discount for bookings before September. Bookings can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org, and the conference programme is available on line at www.amenityforum.co.uk.