We’ve stopped using chemical weedkiller glyphosate for our regular maintenance of street plants and weeds. Read on to learn more about our new, greener approach, and find out how you can get involved.

As part of our commitment to supporting biodiversity and addressing the Ecological Emergency, we’ve ruled out the use of chemical weedkiller glysophate for routine work* to maintain our streets.

This means more labour-intensive manual and mechanical weed removal for our Street Cleansing team, who keep the streets of B&NES clean and tidy. We have invested additional funding to increase staffing and equipment this year to supply this extra labour, as part of a wider review of how we can make our services as environmentally friendly as possible. See our recent news story for more details.

Opting for the more nature-friendly solution of pulling out unwanted street plants and weeds, rather than spraying with chemicals, will mean getting used to seeing more smaller weeds regrowing in our public spaces. We’re aiming to balance the benefits to the environment, especially pollinators like bees, with the need to keep our public spaces attractive and safe to use.

Our new approach means we’ll prioritise removing weeds where they are causing safety issues:

  • obstructing routes for pedestrians and cyclists
  • blocking drainage channels and increasing flood risk
  • damaging paving or roads

* We will continue to use chemical solutions where complete eradication is necessary until viable alternatives to glyphosate are brought to market. Typical examples are severe issues with invasive plants which pose a serious threat to health or property, such as Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed.

You can report problem weeds through our Fix My Street service. You can also get in touch [email] if you support re-wilding of your local street or area, by preserving natural plants which aren’t causing safety issues.

Your chance to get involved

Would you like to be a local street hero? We’re looking for volunteers to help with weed control during the spring and summer season, when growth and spread are fastest. We'll be making more information on our plans to supply community equipment in Spring 2022, so you can be part of local action in your area.

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