Rebuilding a greener Hackney – Council estates go glyphosate free after successful pilot
A successful year-long pilot will see more than 200 green areas across Hackney’s housing estates go glyphosate-free permanently. This is part of the Council’s efforts to reduce the use of harmful weed killers and boost biodiversity in the borough.
The pilot saw use of glyphosate on the grassy areas, shrub beds, rosebeds and hedges on estates halted, as well as the planting of additional wildflower meadows to encourage green spaces to flourish without herbicides and increased the use of leaves and tree mulch as a more natural way of suppressing weeds.
Glyphosate is one of the most commonly-used herbicides for removing weeds in the UK and worldwide. While there is no government guidance against its use, this type of chemical weed killer can have a negative effect on our environment and biodiversity by removing plants which are relied upon by birds, insects and other wildlife.
With 237 estate-based green spaces managed by the Council, the areas covered in this new policy will incorporate a huge part of Hackney’s green infrastructure.
The reaction from residents has been great, most people have been really onboard with the pilot. There may be some weeds in the planting beds now, but people understand that these are useful plants for pollinators like bees, not just weeds like we used to consider them. I’m really pleased we can now make this pilot a permanent part of our ground maintenance to help increase biodiversity and support wildlife.
I’m really pleased to announce that our estates green spaces are now going Glyphosate free - helping to support local wildlife and encourage the borough's biodiversity.
From encouraging people to walk and cycle in the borough more, to installing solar panels on Council buildings, this commitment to reducing weed killers is part of our work to rebuild a greener Hackney as part of our coronavirus recovery.
Council estates provide a vital green resource for the borough, and I’m committed to ensuring that the way we manage these also contributes towards our plans to tackle the climate emergency.