Bridgwater Town Council unanimously resolved to adopt a pesticide policy at the Full Council Meeting held on 17 June 2021.
The policy shall apply to all areas owned, controlled or managed by the Town Council, currently and in the future, and including, as far as possible where such is leased to other parties, and in addition is applicable to all services that are provided by third and fourth-party contractors and volunteers acting under Town Council auspices or with its support.
The adoption of this policy with immediate effect, all use of glyphosate and other chemical weed-killers and peat based compost will cease. The Council in order to promote re-growth and regeneration of natural biodiversity, the Town Council will operate a ‘no mow May’ in areas that are not required for reasons of safety, maintenance of rights of way, or to promote the primary purpose of a site (i.e. sports or leisure areas), subject to an agreed management plan and in line with sensitive considerations in the Town Council’s Cemeteries.
Cllr Kathy Pearce (Climate Portfolio Holder) said “I am particularly proud that Bridgwater Town Council has taken this step and adopted the Pesticide Free Policy in recognition of the threat to our wildlife and biodiversity.
A 2017 study revealed a 76% decline in flying insects since 1990 and pollinators, such as bees, are struggling particularly badly. Bees and other pollinators are vitally important because we rely on them to pollinate plants to produce our food. Habitat loss and large quantities of pesticides used in UK has meant that wildlife and pollinators increasingly seeking refuge in our towns and cities. It is therefore vitally important that we do what we can in our towns to play our part in reversing this worrying decline. We hope that by taking this step, we will encourage others to do the same.”
The Town Council as part of its commitment of declaring a Climate Emergency are developing a Climate Emergency Strategy that will be adopted later in the year.