Herbicides are used in Medway’s public spaces, and while their intended purpose is to kill weeds, herbicides have a negative impact on biodiversity in our towns.
A growing body of evidence shows the impact of these poisonous chemicals is more widespread that initially thought. Herbicides such as glyphosate affect the whole ecosystem from birds and small mammals, to butterflies and bees, and our aquatic ecosystems, including the River Medway itself.
It is now suspected that the impact of these chemicals may affect our own health and the health of our pets.
Last year Medway Council agreed to stop spraying on children’s play areas and around trees in public open space.
As a response to the climate change emergency we declared last year the Council will no longer be cutting or spraying along our road verges but instead encouraging wildflower meadows to grow. We will see these meadows appearing in our parks and greenspaces across Medway as well.
Medway Council still wants to spray herbicides in greenspaces, ignoring the fact that our children and pets play there as well.
Cllr Simon Curry, Labour & Co-op Councillor for Luton & Wayfield said ‘I’m really pleased that my campaigning last year resulted in a ban on glyphosate in children’s play areas, but I’m now calling upon Medway Council to enforce a complete ban on the use of herbicides in our greenspaces. We know that this will bring about enormous benefits for our environment and remove potential harm to us all.
‘With the recent report on air quality showing Chatham as having some of the worst pollution problems in the country, it’s really important that we protect plants and wildlife that help clean up our air. Please support this campaign and make Medway a greener place for us to live.’
An on line petition for anyone to sign is now available on the Council website here: https://democracy.medway.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?ID=127&RPID=37529152&HPID=37529152
There is also a paper petition for you and your friends to sign if you contact Cllr. Curry through Medway Council or you can download one if you log onto the Medway Urban Greenspaces Forum web site: https://mugsforum.org/2019/10/25/use-of-herbicides-in-medway/