We’re trialing an approach to street management with Northumberland County Council in selected streets in Hexham which eliminates the use of herbicide (Glyphosate – which is a suspected carcinogen). Each street has a street champion who consults residents and then organises neighbours to remove unwanted pavement plants using hand tools. The Council avoids spraying on these selected streets and at the end of the year we will review the results.
In time we hope to show that mechanical control is a viable alternative to spraying and that, in fact, this type of management reduces plant seeding by removing the soil and decaying vegetation which is usually left after spraying.
We know that not all residents would want to maintain their own streets, but some streets may want to encourage certain wildflowers to flourish in certain places, and this gives them more control. Elsewhere, where tidiness is a priority our pioneers are demonstrating the chemical-free way..