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  • Pesticide-Free Cambridge

Herbicide spraying again during school commute

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Herbicide spraying in Cambridge at 8.17 am this morning, in the middle of the busiest school commute time, despite commitments reiterated at recent Herbicide Reduction Scheme Working Group meeting (amongst a list of other commitments - see screenshot below) to avoid all spraying between 8.00-9.00 and 3.00-4.00 (, and entry for 12 May 2022 in PFC Meetings with Council blog).

Operatives were seen spraying on Mowbray Road (around the junction with Glebe Road ) and Holbrook Road (as shown in photo). At the time, Mowbray road was teeming with kids and families, being as it is a major commuting route to a number of schools in the area (Homerton Nursery, Perse Pelican, Queen Edith Primary, Perse Upper, Trumpington Community College to name just a few).

Children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic and endocrine disrupting impacts of glyphosate, and pesticides in general. This is why we've asked the council to inform schools in advance of spraying and to avoid all spraying during the time when children are walking or cycling to and from school. We took recent assurances that this is now part of council policy at face value, the logical conclusion being that we can safely assume that our children are no longer at risk of coming into direct contact with herbicides as they're being sprayed. We will report this instance (again) to Cambridge City Council Environmental Services and will repeat our request for no spraying to take place ANYWHERE in the city during the school commute period.

It isn't enough to avoid the roads immediately outside schools as obviously kids have to get to school from all over the city. Clearly this doesn't preclude kids coming into contact with herbicides in the two weeks that it takes for visual evidence to show up, hence our continuing to campaign for signage to be put up immediately after spraying, and for a complete ban of this horrible practice by the end of the year.

Please continue to send us photos and reports of any further contraventions of the council's policy regarding herbicide-use in areas beyond its two-ward herbicide-free trials (see second image here which lists some of the commitments reiterated at recent working group meeting)


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