Hackney Council is trialling a glyphosate-free area to promote biodiversity, increase green infrastructure, and see if abandoning the use of the herbicide means it can continue high standards of street maintenance.
The trial, which encompasses streets, estates and green spaces in the Daubeney area of Homerton, began earlier in the summer. It is hoped that the trial will demonstrate the effect of allowing these areas to grow naturally, so that decisions can be made about the future use of herbicides and other methods of removing weeds.
The trial comes in addition to a number of measures the Council is carrying out to minimise glyphosate use, which have so far seen the amount used on its streets reduced by 50% since May 2018.
These measures include: removing weeds in town centres by hand instead of chemically, stopping glyphosate spraying in more than 100km of high streets; reducing the number of sprays per season from four to three; and changing the way it’s applied – it’s now sprayed by operatives with knapsacks, rather than from vehicles.