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  • Pesticide-Free Cambridge

Herbicide spraying on verges in Newnham, Cambridge

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Today we're focusing on recent glyphosate herbicide spraying in the #Newnham area, one of the most beautiful parts of #Cambridge, close to the river Cam, Lammas Land, the Sheeps’s Green/ Coe Fen #conservation area, and the university colleges. Quite a mixed bag as shown in these photos. Grateful thanks to our fellow campaigner in Newnham for sending these in along with accompanying reports!

1. The cow parsley on the verge of the western stretch of Fen Causeway is looking beautiful, and does not SEEM to have been sprayed yet, although it was just like this when they cut and sprayed it last year, so let's hope that the message from concerned local residents has got through to the Council. There is also a suspicious area of yellow in the middle right next to the pavement.

2. Further eastwards along Fen Causeway the verge alongside Lammas Land has been cut, and the yellowing areas at the edge of the footpath and around the trees attest to #herbicide spraying in the last 10 days. This is seemingly in contradiction to the council's commitment from last year to stop spraying in parks and open spaces. We've also been told by Labour Councillors that operatives are still applying herbicides to pathways and around ‘obstacles’ in such places. Please see our blog on our meetings with City and County Councillors for details and background:

3. The grassy verge on Newnham Road on the western side of the Lammas Land doesn't yet show signs of spraying, and the cow parsley is growing well here. Hopefully it stays this way.

4.The verge along Barton Road has seemingly not been cut, there are signs of spraying along the edge with the road but NOT around the trees and posts.

We remain frustrated by lack of clarity on precisely when spraying on county verges is going to stop. We have been told over the last year that spraying on verges is about to stop but still have no precise timeline. We were told by the County Council in February this year that County did not approve of verges that they owned being sprayed by the City Council. We are still seeking clarity on what the situation is for verges owned by other stakeholders, such as in privately owned housing estates, but if County do not want their streets being sprayed then this clearly contradicts what we were told by City Council in November 2020 that they were constrained by county wishes in this regard.

Evidence of spraying only shows up 10-14 days after herbicide application, so please let us know if you notice any changes to the above.... and please sign and share our petition to get the city council to finally change their verge management and weed control policies on the areas that they manage on behalf of the County Council, in the interests of #biodiversity and #public health.

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[JS @ PFC]

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