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Weed spraying

We use chemical herbicide to treat grass/weeds around trees, obstacles, fences, along walls and road signs to reduce the need for strimming and to improve the visual appearance of grass growth around fixtures. We also apply it to footpath surfaces and roadside channels.

Weed spraying operations are currently carried out across the county during the following periods (depending on prevailing weather conditions).

  • Obstacles, walls and fence lines - in March/April and September/October.
  • Footpaths and roadside channels - two applications per year in April/May and September.

Blue dye indicator

A blue dye indicator is used in the herbicide. This is a non-toxic, non-staining colourant designed to be used with herbicides. It provides visual assurance of where the chemical has been applied, that it is uniformly applied, and that no areas are missed. The dye breaks down over time and is then no longer visible.

Use of chemical herbicides

The use of chemical herbicides is carefully controlled by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). All commercially available chemicals have been subject to rigorous testing and approved for sale by DEFRA. In addition, chemicals have been subject to a Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) assessment, leading to the development of specific procedures for the use of the chemical so that any risk to human health is eliminated.

The chemical herbicide we use is based on a substance called glyphosate, which kills all types of vegetation. Glyphosate has an extremely low toxicity to animals and poses minimal risk to humans who may accidentally come into contact with the substance. Glyphosate is shown as the most cost-effective method of controlling weeds and vegetation. We have lots of natural areas where we do not use herbicide including cemeteries but if left unchecked in an urban area the pathways and paving can quickly become unsightly and hazardous.  

Glyphosate has been approved as safe and effective for a number of years now and we continue to monitor and review Government and the Health and Safety Executive advice on the use of weed killers. 


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