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2022: PFC campaign meetings and updates


On this page we will upload a rolling record of meetings and other updates about our campaign in 2022. Our records for 2021, 2020 and previous years have now been moved to separate blog entries. See links above.





20 April 2022

Pesticide-Free Cambridge presentation and Q&A to Congleton Climate Action Group (6.30-8.00 pm).



Many thanks to the organisers for having given us the opportunity to address the 20 questions that were pre-submitted to us. It was great to meet such a large and committed pesticide-free campaigning group, and we wish them all the best in their campaign. Click here for a downloadable PDF of selected parts of our presentation that we intended to give and which addresses some of the questions. Network problems meant that in the end, most of the session was dedicated to answering the thoughtful questions that we were emailed to us before the event, which we copy below, and to which we plan to write up our responses shortly.

  1. What do you mean by “pesticide free”? Is it a total blanket ban on all chemical pesticides?

  2. How do you measure “pesticide free”? Is this only measured by council use?

  3. How exactly do you work with the council/local authorities?

  4. Is the council disclosing all the information about any pesticide use in the town, such as what they use and where they use it?

  5. Do you know if the council have used/are using New Way Spray?

  6. Is your local authority a county council or town council or both?

  7. Who is in charge of using pesticides within the council?

  8. Do you work with schools? Do businesses help to promote a pesticide-free city?

  9. Do you work with other landowners, who might use pesticides in the city? E.g. colleges? How do you do that?

  10. Have you had to approach schools on a private level or are they all on board with pesticide free?

  11. Authority, business and private use.... how have you approached the private use generally?

  12. How have you managed the public’s ideas on pesticide free?

  13. For a new campaign is there anything you would suggest we do or don’t do?

  14. Your strategy is based around health, does this appeal to all age groups, or have you found it appeals to only certain age groups?

  15. How many active members in your group?

  16. Who, age wise, are the most active members of your group?

  17. How and where you advertise your work?

  18. Do you have special events, for example a stall at green events to promote Pesticide Free Cambridge?

  19. Do you know if Cambridge have used an electric shock device which will kill all unwanted plants?

  20. Synthetic Pesticides seems to imply that you are not against natural pesticides being used? What are your views on some natural pesticides that would still harm biodiversity, such as salt on slugs?


see: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=451230516775610&id=105536024678396


7 April 2022

Pesticide-Free Cambridge meeting with Cambridge City Council Streets and Open Spaces and Biodiversity Team.


Present: Julia Shaw & Ben Greig, Pesticide-Free Cambridge (PFC); Alistair Wilson, Cambridge City Council Streets & Open Spaces; Rob Martyr, Cambridge City Council Biodiversity Team; Cllr Alex Collis.


Apologies: Guy Belcher, Cambridge City Council Biodiversity Team; Jon Clarke, Cambridgeshire County Council.


The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Herbicide Reduction Plan (HRP), the two herbicide-free wards and the herbicide-free adoption scheme (HFS) or ‘Bee-friendly streets’ (see link here), and to get some clarity on the suspected spraying that was witnessed in Newnham in April (see link here), one of the two herbicide-free wards. This was the first opportunity we’ve had to discuss such matters since the last Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee (ECSC) Meeting on 27 January 2022 (see here for our related press release).


Full meeting agenda:

1. Update on where we are with the Trial and Herbicide Free Streets

2. Update on spraying schedules

3. How do we review the Trial areas to give the whole city application the best chance?

4. Any alternatives that we think we could usefully add value to the Trial?

5. reporting system

6. Definition of 'weeds' in herbicide free wards and street adoption areas

7. Signage

8. Update on who is responsible for recent spraying in Newnham and Abbey

9. Frequency of future meetings and membership?

10. AOB


1. Update on where we are with the Trial and Herbicide-Free Streets

As the HRP, the HFS and the two herbicide-free wards had been approved at the January ECSC meeting, these were all in the process of being rolled out. AW admitted to some delays, e.g. in the launch of the website for HFS adoption, publishing spraying schedules, and indeed in communication of the overall HRP to the public generally.


RM said that there were at least nine applications for the HFS scheme and they expected more given that the publicity had only just started. AW saw no reason why the council could not support more than the 12 streets initially promised. RM also mentioned that the council has committed to making eight hectares of grass verge better for wildlife by not spraying and keeping the grass long.


2. Update on spraying schedules

AW said the city council had not started herbicide spraying yet as they wanted first to have published the schedule as a webpage with a list of streets to which dates could be added (as per what was agreed at the January ECSC). It would be quite a simple tool but easy for the public to use. RM suggested the council tweet when they were about to spray a particular street/area.


JS asked that the council avoided spraying during school drop-off and pick-up times (i.e., between 8.00-9.00 am, and 3.00-4.00 pm) and also to pre-warn schools directly in advance of any spraying in the surrounding streets. AW agreed to this and it was generally agreed that there was also an opportunity for PFC, the City and County councils to collaborate in educating schools about going pesticide-free and in particular, to bringing the ‘roadshow’ to schools in the two already herbicide-free wards, both as an educational tool as well as to avoid undermining the benefits afforded by the absence of spraying in the immediately surrounding vicinity.


3. How do we review the Trial areas to give the whole city application the best chance?

It was agreed at the January ECSC meeting that in order to monitor and review the HRP, and therefore give it the best chance of success, a working group should be established that met monthly and that this would include representatives from PFC Membership was further discussed during today’s meeting and agreed that it would include AW and RM (Cambridge City Council), BG and JS (PFC), a representative from the City Council Operations team, two County Council highway managers (to be nominated by Jon Clarke), a member of the City Council Community Engagement team , member of the Council Housing team, and possibly someone from one of the residents associations groups, and / or a resident participating in the herbicide-free street adoption scheme so as to involve the public directly.


4. Any alternatives that we think we could usefully add value to the Trial?

It was agreed that it’s important to gauge public perception of i) pesticides and their impact on health and biodiversity, and ii) the HRP, as a means of usefully measuring the success of the HRP scheme. JS mentioned that she is currently leading a UCL research project on urban pesticides that will include a questionnaire on patterns of pesticide-use, and public attitudes towards urban nature, ‘pests’ and pesticide-use in Cambridge (in collaboration with PFC, details here). The possibility of several questionnaires was considered: a shorter survey designed by the City Council /PFC working group that can go live very soon, followed by a more detailed, longer PFC/UCL one later in the year. An alternative is to combine the two into a single UCL/City Council/PFC questionnaire run over two phases, with the first, shorter version, being issued now, followed by another in a year’s time to monitor changes in attitudes following the HRP scheme. JS is to look into how best we might do this.


5. Reporting system

AW said the reporting system for breaches of the HRP (spraying by the public on any public land, whether or not in a herbicide-free zone, or by council operatives in herbicide-free areas, would be live within a week or so. Reports would feed to the Biodiversity team for action and enforcement.


6. Definition of 'weeds' in herbicide free wards and street adoption areas

Varying definitions of what constitutes a weed, what is acceptable plant growth on paths and street, and would be the subject of a follow-up meeting in the very near future. JS highlighted the importance of a recent University of Sussex study that demonstrates that common ‘weeds’ are more beneficial to biodiversity than planted wildflower meadows (link here), and it was agreed by all that drawing on the More Than Weeds model might be a positive way forward.


7. Signage

Signage to indicate herbicide-free zones in the two herbicide-free trial wards as well as the street adoption areas (‘Bee-friendly street’) was discussed and will be the subject of a follow-up meeting in the very near future. JS and BG to liaise with RM over content of related information about the benefits of urban plants for biodiversity on websites, and signage, including ‘happy bee’ street logs and PFC logos/branding to be used on council vehicles. Links to PFC website also to be included on HRP information flyers and websites . The issue of signs to indicate where spraying has taken place was also discussed.


8. Update on who is responsible for recent spraying in Newnham and Abbey

AW explained that the recent herbicide spraying in Newnham and other wards was carried out by County council operatives and related to pavement resurfacing. In a previous email (dated 5 April 2022) we were told that


We are advised by County Council colleagues that their contractor has sprayed around 38 streets/roads ahead of a pre-planned pavement resurfacing programme (1 in Newnham, none in Arbury). The Highways Maintenance Manager was part of the team that created the Herbicide Free Trial and had made the resurfacing contractor aware of our Trial but unfortunately this was not effectively communicated to operatives carry out the work. The County Council as partners in the Trial will be participating in the working group that has been established to support the Trial and give it the best opportunity to be a success, they too are committed to the Trial and are participating to determine whether they can use the Trial outcomes across the region”.


During today’s meeting, AW told us that Barton close was not included in this list of roads to be sprayed by County Council so we still await clarity from County Council as to what has happened here (AW to follow up with them). AW explained that City and County council deeply regretted this error as the operations management knew that the area should not be sprayed. Somehow the message was not made forcefully enough to those on the ground. It was agreed that this demonstrated the importance of communications throughout the whole organisation and process. (see our recent Press release here for more information).


9. Frequency of future meetings and membership?

Agreed that the working group should meet frequently (up to once a month), with additional meetings as required. Agreed that this should be de-politicised especially before elections, so no councillors should be present until after local elections are over. Further details on membership of the group discussed under Point 3.


10. AOB.

JS asked about PPE (following similar questions asked at the Oct 2021, and Jan 2022 ECSC meetings). AW agreed that PPE would be worn by their operatives when they do perform spraying in areas outside the two trial areas this spring and autumn, in accordance with HSE guidance, so it would mean protective boots and clothing but not necessarily a face covering if outdoors.


Agreed that a joint press release in a few weeks time after actions have happened would be helpful.


AW mentioned idea of p-f honey, possibly in collaboration with Cofarm


Need for further discussion of Council owned allotments so that they too can go herbicide free.


Agreed actions:

  1. HRP Twitter account.

  2. Schools visit in relation to HRP.

  3. Operatives to be informed that no spraying must take place between 8.00-9.00 am and 3.00-4.00 pm, i.e., around school drop off / collection/ commute time.

  4. Working group to be formally set up and next meeting date to be scheduled.

  5. PFC and RM to draft public attitudes questionnaire.

  6. Spraying schedule to be launched online (update 22/4/22: this has now been launched - https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/weed-spraying-schedule)

  7. Reporting webpage to be set up within next week.

  8. Signage to be finalised with input from PFC on wording and logo/branding.

  9. Agreed that PPEs must all wear full PPE.




1 April 2022

See our separate Press Release (link here) for details about unfortunate herbicide spraying in supposedly herbicide-free ward, Newnham, by Cambridgeshire County Council, and further County spraying in Abbey despite commitments at January ESCD meeting by City Council that no spraying would take place until such time as spraying schedules are published ahead of time on the council website. Correspondence with, and explanations from the City Council are all included in our press release. See also related Cambridge Independent article (6/4/22) below (and here):




24 March 2022

We asked public questions about the two-ward herbicide free trials in Newnham and Arbury and the city-wide street adoption scheme at today's Cambridge City Council Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee meeting. Unfortunately there wasn't time for them to be read out in the end but we'll post the written responses that we've been promised when we receive them.


Further to the last ECSC meeting in January, and the council’s formal launch of its Herbicide Reduction Plan (HRP), and Herbicide-Free Streets (HFS) scheme, it concerns us greatly that there has been no mention since that meeting of progress regarding the two-ward herbicide free trials planned to begin in Newnham and Arbury this Spring. We also have heard nothing about the Working Group that was committed to in January nor of the precise wording of the Herbicide-Free Streets adoption scheme or indeed the overall communications strategy for the HRP.

1. Can we have an update on the two-ward herbicide free trials please? When precisely will these start and what kinds of community consultation are being planned around these?

2. When will the working group be set up? Who will sit on it, and who will be taking the lead?

3. On streets that have been adopted as part of the HFS scheme will residents be obliged to remove all weeds, or will some be allowed to flourish if they don’t present a trip hazard, in recognition of recent research that shows that urban weeds can be more important for insect pollinators than planted wildflower meadows?

4. When will the Herbicide-Free streets webpage be made available to inform residents about how they can opt in to the street adoption scheme? We are concerned that it is nearly Spring and this information still hasn’t been made available.

5. Will your online communications make it clear that members of the public should not be using herbicides or any other pesticides on council land, for example insecticidal dusting powder commonly used for ants, on pavements and streets that border private gardens? How can residents report such instances of pesticide-free breaches?

6. Will the council highlight in its communications the public health dimension of pesticide exposure in addition to its links to biodiversity breakdown so that people better understand the rationale behind the HRP?

7. Will you post herbicide spraying schedules in advance of spraying or at least at the time it happens, in keeping with commitments made in last July’s herbicide-free motion to protect the health of residents and particularly those with existing allergies for whom pesticide-exposure presents additional risks?

8. Will you at the very least, ensure that schools are pre-warned of herbicide spraying in their vicinity, and will operatives be advised to avoid spraying at school drop-off and collection times (e.g., 8.00-9.30 am, and 2.30-4.00 pm) given childrens’ heightened vulnerability to the toxic impacts of chemical exposure?

9. We were pleased by the response to our question at the last ECSC meeting that herbicide spraying operatives will now be required to wear full PPE as is the law. Can you confirm that this requirement will now be enforced? Can you also explain why it has not been enforced until now**



** We find this particularly relevant given that Cambridge City Council in its response to a Freedom of Information request in April 2021 (https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/media/9861/foi-request-8963.pdf), stated implicitly that ‘the Poisonous Substances in Agriculture Regulations 1985, the Health and Safety at Work Act and various other Acts impose a statutory requirement for appropriate protective clothing to be worn by personnel working with Pesticides’.




16 March 2022

Pesticide-Free Cambridge gave a short presentation on the City Council's soon-to-be-launched herbicide-free two-ward trial, and a parallel scheme that will allow residents to adopt their street in a herbicide-free manner. We also said a few words about a new UCL project that one of us is involved with, on public perceptions of weeds, pests and pest-control with Cambridge as one of the main case-studies. Other discussion points included the relevance of urban pesticides for scholarly and activist discourse on urban nature, toxicity, biodiversity, climate change and air pollution, and ongoing issues surrounding the council's Herbicide Reduction Plan and street adoption plan that need to be ironed out: e.g., community conflict resolution over how adopted streets will be managed, how weeds versus urban plants that perform an essential role for pollinating insects, will be defined, how residents can report unauthorised use of herbicides by both council operatives and members of the public. We had a very interesting discussion afterwards and look forward to working more closely with members of the group and partner residents associations.




16 March 2022


Pesticide-Free Cambridge gave an update to the Friends of St Matthew's Piece regarding the City Council's Herbicide Reduction Plan and the herbicide-free street adoption scheme. It was only possible to give a broad picture as the details of the adoption scheme have not been announced, nor has Pesticide-Free Cambridge been invited on the Herbicide-Free working group (see our Facebook post here for further details). The Friends of St. Matthew's Piece, however, have already pledged their support for a Herbicide-Free Petersfield (the ward in which St Matthews Piece falls) and wholeheartedly back Pesticide-Free Cambridge's campaign, having passed a motion to that effect at a previous meeting.


The Friends group is actively working to boost biodiversity in the park, working with On the Verge Cambridge and the City Council's Biodiversity Lead. Also present at the meeting was a representative of Community Action for Nature, with whom On the Verge Cambridge helped establish a St Matthew's Street Biodiversity Action Plan. Despite having the smallest amount of green space per capita of all Cambridge's wards, Petersfield residents are clearly passionate about where they live. It is very possible that, when the details emerge, several streets in Petersfield put themselves forward for herbicide-free adoption.



24 February 2022

PFC emailed Cllr Collis and other Cllrs and officers involved with the Herbicide Reduction plan. As of 12 March, we have yet to receive any response which is clearly frustrating.


Copy of email:


Dear Cllr Collis
Further to the ECSC meeting and the formal adoption of the Herbicide Reduction Plan (HRP) and Herbicide-Free Streets (HFS) scheme, we are very keen to focus on the next steps. It concerns us greatly that there has been no mention since that meeting of the Working Group that you mentioned would be set up, and on which it was mentioned Pesticide-Free Cambridge would sit, nor of the precise wording of the Herbicide-Free Streets adoption scheme or indeed the overall communications strategy for the HRP. We were under the impression that we would contribute to these documents not least because it is imperative to get the communication right in order for the HRP and HFS to be a success.
Who, for instance, will sit on the Working Group and who is taking the lead? Will you involve opposition councillors, some of whom have been instrumental in getting these issues back on the agenda? What stage are we at with regard to a draft for the HRP and HFS webpage? Will the HFS communications also make it abundantly clear that the public is not to use other pesticides (e.g. ant powder) on the street (i.e. council land) as well as refraining from using herbicides? Will the facility to report such pesticide use on council land be on the webpage, or at least linked to it?
Related to this, will the wording of associated communications make it clear that pesticide use is a serious public health hazard as well as a disaster for biodiversity, in order to make the entwined environmental and human health impacts abundantly clear? We have been stressing this point, in keeping with the position of ecological public health, in our meetings with with and questions to the council over the last two years of our campaign, as well as in our our formal contributions to the council's Biodiversity Strategy document, and we are disappointed that there is still no acknowledgement of any of the well documented impacts of acute and chronic pesticide exposure in any of the council's documents. It is imperative, if the public are to understand the reasons behind the council's herbicide-free trials, that the health impacts are presented as being equally important a factor as the need to protect biodiversity. We have extensive information about the public health aspects of pesticide use on our Pesticide-Free Cambridge website. For example:
* ''Unsustainable chemical use and waste is a key obstacle to achieving the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and are a major contribution to air pollution far over and beyond that related to vehicular fumes * Both agricultural and non-agricultural pesticides have a highly negative health impact on a wide range of human illnesses including cancers, chronic neurological conditions such as ME/CFS, endocrine disruption and DNA alteration, as well as autism and learning difficulties in children * Recent high-profile court cases have set a legal precedent for demonstrating the negative health impacts of glyphosate-based herbicides and have helped to raise public awareness of the dangers of their widespread use in our built environments and green spaces''
We also have concerns about the council posting its herbicide spraying schedule. Will this happen in advance of spraying or at least at the time it happens? Any delay in this risks making the posting of such information a completely pointless gesture. Can you clarify what has been decided, and what the perceived obstacles are in providing this essential information to the public?
We are going to be talking to residents associations and friends groups over the next month to inform them of the HRP and HFS scheme. We want to be able to do so as informed participants in the successful rollout of a herbicide-free Cambridge and the beginnings of a truly pesticide-free City. But to do so we must be properly involved.


21 February 2022

PFC meeting with Cambridge City Council Biodiversity team to discuss progress on two-ward herbicide free trial and related Herbicide Reduction Plan. Discussion points included decisions made during the Environment and Community Scrutiny Meeting on 27/1/22 that have not yet materialised: particularly the council's commitment to set up a herbicide-free Working Group that would include Pesticide-Free Cambridge, and to incorporate the health dimension of pesticide use in its communications to the public.



2 February 2022

PFC / UCL gave online presentation at Cambridge Labour Party Environment Forum (CLEF), entitled "Pesticides, toxicity and urban nature: chemical air pollution and what to do about it".


Discussion included an update on our PFC campaign, with particular focus on the Council's Herbicide Reduction Plan and ongoing areas that need to be tackled including private and university/schools use of herbicides and insecticides, as well as on a new UCL project on Pesticides, Toxicity and Urban Nature: a comparative social study of environmental worldviews and practices (see here for further details).







31 January 2022


PFC, together with Lib Dem Cllrs Porrer and Cheney, and Green Cllr Copley, issued a Press release (see here), on the results of the Cambridge Council Environment and Community Scrutiny Meeting (27/02/22). See resulting media piece in the Cambridge Independent, 6/2/22: https://www.cambridgeindependent.co.uk/news/herbicide-free-trials-to-begin-in-two-cambridge-wards-and-9238734/)


The meeting resulted in the unanimous approval of the Herbicide Reduction Plan in its current format, the decision to go ahead with the two-ward herbicide-free trial in Arbury and Newnham, and a planned city-wide rollout following the successful completion of the trials, although when questioned on the timing of the latter, Labour councillors fell short of providing a firm commitment that this would definitely happen by the end of 2022 as agreed in the Lib Dem/PFC herbicide-free Motion of July 2021. Disappointingly, Cllrs Porrer (Lib Dem) who moved the July Motion, and Copley’s (Green) proposed amendments to include a firm commitment to this effect in the HPR, ie to ending herbicide treatments this year subject to a successful trial, and to include explicit reference to signage and online notifications regarding herbicide spraying schedules, were rejected by the ruling Labour group.

For full details of our reactions to these outcomes, with comments also from Cllr Katie Porrer (Liberal Democrat, Market Ward), Cllr Cheney Payne (Liberal Democrat, Castle Ward) and Cllr Hannah Copley (Green,Abbey Ward), see here.


  • For Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee meeting (27 Jan 22) recording of meeting (Herbicide Reduction Plan is discussed between 1.03 – 2.13), see here

  • For Council documents relating to the meeting, see here.

25 January 2022

PFC submitted the following public questions for the Cambridge Council Environment and Community Scrutiny Meeting, to be held on 27 January 2022, in relation to their recently published Herbicide Reduction Plan which was shared with us a few days ago.

We reiterate our firm commitment to working with the City Council to make Cambridge pesticide-free, starting with a complete end to herbicide use on land owned or managed by the City Council. In addition, we remain committed to working with communities, groups and residents to make this happen as quickly and as effectively as possible. Naturally we welcome the Herbicide Reduction Plan (HRP) and the Herbicide-Free Streets proposal. However, we are disappointed to note that we still have had no response to our minuted questions to the ECSC meeting on 7th October 2021 (https://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/documents/g3969/Printed%20minutes%2007th-Oct-2021%2017.30%20Environment%20and%20Community%20Scrutiny%20Committee.pdf?T=1), or to our follow up email to councillors on 10 December 2021


We have the following questions for the ECSC meeting on 27 January 2022.

  1. Although the pesticide free motion of 22 July stated that the council would work directly with Pesticide-Free Cambridge over the planned herbicide free trials, to date we have only had informal talks with the Biodiversity team, and we have not been included in any formal discussion with the council. When will Pesticide-Free Cambridge be invited to join a working group to monitor the progress of the ward trials and herbicide-free streets, and to have input into related information campaigns and websites?

  2. When will the city council start to post notices of when herbicide spraying is due to take place across all those wards and streets that are NOT being included in the HRP and to erect information signage in areas that are undergoing herbicide-free trials? 3. Will the city council operatives wear full PPE, as is legally required, when spraying herbicides?

  3. Will steps be taken to include specific reference to the human health impacts of pesticide exposure in the HRP? We are concerned that the only health impacts mentioned in the current document are those connected with trip hazards posed by urban plants.




24 January 2022

PFC meeting with Cllr Katie Porrer to discuss our shared response to recently published Herbicide Reduction Plan (HRP) which is to be discussed at the Cambridge Council Environment and Community Scrutiny Meeting on 27 January 2022. PFC have submitted some Public questions (see our entry for 25 Jan above), but also contributed to Cllr Porrer and Cllr Payne's questions which will be discussed in the council meeting itself. See our separate entry below for our concerns about the HRP).



17 January 2022

PFC received link to City Council's new Herbicide Reduction Plan (HRP), in advance of its Environment and Community Scrutiny Meeting on 27 January 2022. This is largely in response to the motion in July 2021 that committed to a two-ward herbicide-free trial in Autumn 2021, (but later on moved back to Spring 2022), and to going completely herbicide-free by the end of 2022. THe biodiversity team ran a mini trial in Autumn 2021, and this document largely presents the findings thereof. The two wards that have been chosen for these trials are Newnham and Arbury, both representing quite distinct environmental and social contexts. There are also plans for a street-adoption scheme whereby residents can elect to manage their own streets in a herbicide-free manner. Whilst we welcome these developments, we still have some major concerns, some of which we have discussed Lib Dem Cllrs Porrer and Payne (see entry for 24 Jan) to be presented by them at the meeting on 27 Jan. We'll share the link to the minutes of the meeting with those questions (and hopefully answers) after the event, but in the meantime, we outline some of the initial concerns that we highlighted in advance of our separate meeting with Cllrs Porrer and Payne on 24 Jan.


  • 3.3 HRP 'habitat enhancement' but no mention of benefits to public health.

  • 3.4 'unwanted vegetation' described as a public health risk. No mention of public health risk of herbicides themselves.

  • 3.6 Hot foam etc... under 'use' lists 'grass growth around trees' however our understanding is that Biodiversity and Tree officers do not want any treatment of grass growth around trees except perhaps mulching. Any 'treatment' around trees is likely to harm them - glyphosate, steam, strimming included - and is also unnecessary. In fact in 3.8 trees are absent from the list of areas requiring treatment.

  • 3.6 Table 1. List fails to include mechanical weeding as an alternative to chemical treatment which is important as it is both distinct from manual and can be a very effective way of dealing with sizeable areas e.g. paving but may also have negative side-effects on the user due to vibration.

  • 3.10/3.11 of course we need detail on how Herbicide-Free Streets will work, how to volunteer, equipment, training, monitoring, feedback.

  • 4 (c) 'The EQIA has identified a potential negative impact relating to Age, Disability, Pregnancy and Maternity' but there is no mention of the severely negative impact of herbicide use on residents, especially those who are already vulnerable.

  • 4 (d), (f) what of the positive public health implications of going herbicide-free?

  • 6 (b) 'risk' and 'hazard' terms applied to weeds but not applied to herbicide use itself.


13 January 2022

PFC meeting with Cambridge Council Biodiversity team to discuss progress on two-ward herbicide-free trials (more details to follow).



9 January 2022

Our new poster for attracting signatures for our petition. If you feel like supporting our campaign, please do print out and distribute around Cambridge.



8 January 2022

PFC meeting with Cllrs Alex Collis and Hilary Cox Condron. Alex Collis will send PFC the finalised city council pesticide report prior to the Environment & Community Strategy Committee meeting on 27th January 2022. It is at this meeting that the proposal for two specific herbicide-free wards will be voted on and the wards therefore finalised. It is still the city council’s intention to go completely herbicide-free as of January 1st 2023. Hilary Cox Condron, as a County councillor, stated that she will help promote the pesticide-free campaign to schools, especially in Arbury ward.



For earlier records see our separate blogs for 2021, and 2020 and previous years.

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