Amenity groups speak out over threat of pesticide ban

Amenity groups have spoken out in unison against the possible prohibition of pesticides in public spaces as part of its response to a Government consultation on implementing new EU rules.

Industry bodies the Amenity Forum and the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) have been finalising their submissions on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive ahead of the deadline next week.

Both organisations are against prohibiting pesticide use in public spaces and conservation areas and agree on other key issues such as training, continuing professional development (CPD) and the costs involved when using alternative methods.

BALI technical director Neil Huck, who is also the senior contracts manager at Ground Control, said: "Prohibiting use would lead to real issues with public areas, infestations of weeds and the creation of real risks to the public.

"The solution is not banning but ensuring all those who are directly involved in decisions on application are suitably qualified and kept up to date with CPD."

Amenity Forum chairman John Moverley agreed: "The Forum is not in favour of prohibition of use of pesticides in public spaces or conservation areas. While it supports integrated approaches to control, pesticides often remain the only option, both economically and indeed effectively."

The consultation on the legislation closes on 4 May. The directive will need to be transposed and implemented by EU member states by 25 November 2011.

Huck added: "There is a strong view that the costs associated with maintaining public spaces and amenity areas have been very much underestimated."

Firms are urged to contact BALI for a completed consultation questionnaire, to which they can add their names. Email

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