A HOUSING provider has announced it will stop using what many consider to be a harmful weed killer across all its communities.

Colchester Borough Homes has revealed a robust plan to manage weed growth by using manual weeding and bark mulch to suppress weeds.

It will also be trialling alternative options to keep weeds at bay in the likes of shrub and flower borders and on hard surfaces such as car parking areas and pathways.

The new methods will replace the use of Glyphosate, which is one of the most commonly used herbicides for weeds in the UK and worldwide.

Gazette: Weed killer being used in FrintonWeed killer being used in Frinton

While there is no government guidance against its use, the World Health Organisation has classified Glyphosate as ‘potentially harmful to health’.

It is for this reason Colchester Borough Homes has joined a growing number of UK local authorities in stopping its use on land that it maintains.  

The move follows Colchester Council’s success in stopping the use of the substance in April 2021 and will further reduce the use of chemical weed killers in the borough.  

Philip Sullivan, CEO of Colchester Borough Homes, said: “This move builds on the fantastic work already done by Colchester Borough Council to reduce the use of these potentially harmful weed killers.

“We know there are increasing concerns about the impact of glyphosate on health and we have joined a growing number of local authorities in stopping its use on land that we maintain.  

“There are also potential added environmental benefits in not using this chemical as it reduces risks to pollinating insects and there will not be any chemical build up in the soil, helping our green spaces to be healthier for everyone.”   

Simon Crow, Colchester councillor responsible environment and sustainability, added “We successfully stopped using glyphosate-based weed killers in April 2021.

“We’re ahead of many councils by taking this step to protect our residents and our environment.

READ MORE: Colchester Council agrees to phase out use of glyphosates

READ MORE: Frinton dog owners renew calls for council to ban use of weed killer

“I’m really pleased to now be working with our partners, including Colchester Borough Homes, to further reduce the use of this weed killer and create healthier green spaces for everyone.”   

The new programme will being next month and an exception will be made for the treatment of some invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed, which are a serious threat to biodiversity.

These invasive species will be controlled by a specialist contractor.  

For more information visit cbhomes.org.uk/grounds-maintenance-contract/