Weed killer agreement at Council

Councillors have agreed to continue limiting the use of glyphosate weed killers.

Spot treatments

At the full Council meeting on Tuesday, councillors approved a recommendation to restrict the common herbicide to ‘spot treatments’ on Midlothian streets and pavements in line with Scottish Government advice.

Some exceptions

It was also agreed to continue to reduce glyphosate use in parks and open spaces with the exception of tackling invasive species like Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed. Councillors also agreed glyphosate could be used to control weeds at dangerous road junctions and areas of our highways key to maintaining visibility for the safety of all road users, for example at laybys. 

Communities can adopt and maintain areas

The council will work with community groups that wish to maintain public areas  free from weed killer and develop habitats to encourage pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies.

Temporary suspension

The use of glyphosates on council-managed land was temporarily suspended in 2019 over safety concerns for bees. However, there was cross-party agreement in May 2020 to allow the use of glyphosate on an emergency basis during the Covid pandemic.

Following guidance

The amount of glyphosate used will be reduced year-on-year in line with the council’s Bio Diversity Action plan and Scottish Government guidance, which recommends spot treatments.

Encouraging bees

Measures to cut usage will include avoiding the first treatment of grass edges until late May to allow bees and other pollinators to feed on dandelions and wild flowers. 

23 Mar 2021