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Pesticides: Public Footpaths

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Environment Agency has issued to local authorities on the spraying of pesticides on public footways and pathways. (284138)

“Blanket spraying” is a colloquial term commonly used to describe the spraying of pesticides over large areas, usually in amenity situations such as on pavements or kerbsides and on parkland. The code of practice for using plant protection products provides guidance on the use of pesticides in all situations, including how to comply with the law and protect people and the environment when using pesticides. This code was sent to all local authorities when it was issued in 2006, and has been drawn to the attention of attendees at a variety of meetings including weed control conference at which local authorities have been present.

In line with the UK Strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides, the Government are seeking to minimise the amount of “blanket spraying” (and any other unnecessary application of pesticides). This will be done as part of a proportionate and integrated package of measures to reduce further the risks arising from amenity use of pesticides, particularly in implementing the forthcoming EU directive on the sustainable use of pesticides.

The Environment Agency has worked with Government and others on the development of the UK Strategy and supports the measures within it for reducing the impact of amenity pesticides on the environment.