A CAMPAIGN has been launched which aims to make Essex and its public spaces pesticide free.

The Pesticide Free Essex campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangers of pesticides, namely the weedkiller Glyphosate, used on the county’s streets and roads.

Community groups have joined forces to create the campaign and help support and encourage councils across Essex to ban pesticides and move towards more environmentally-friendly solutions to weeds.

It also aims to encourage schools, private land owners, garden centres, supermarkets, hospitals and homeowners to become pesticide-free.

These groups include Eco Colchester and Eco Essex, the charity En-form as well as the Green Action Team for the Colchester and District Green Party and South-East Essex Organic Gardeners.

Weedkiller Glyphosate is the main ingredient in most weed control products, used to control weeds in public spaces, from schools and hospitals to parks, streets and private gardens.

The campaign group says Glyphosates are harmful to humans, animals and biodiversity.

Colchester Council agreed to end the use of Glyphosate-based products for general maintenance of weeds by March following lobbying by the Colchester Green Party and community group Eco Colchester.

The campaign group is also working positively with Essex County Council, which is already investigating alternatives.

Grace Darke, project manager for En-form and co-ordinator for Eco Colchester, said: “It’s vital we work collaboratively with councils and the public to create a positive impact for environmental and human health.

“The issue with anything toxic to the environment is it will inevitably be toxic to other living organisms too, including humans.

“We aren’t separate from our environment as we are built of the same living cells as any other animal.”

Pesticide Free Essex is asking individuals, councils and businesses to pledge to go pesticide-free and to help raise awareness.

For more information on the campaign and resources available, visit en-form.org.uk/pesticide-free-essex.