Weed control

The Council is responsible for weed control on hard surfaces throughout the Borough, which includes:

  • Public footpaths
  • Kerbs/channels
  • Cycletracks
  • Council owned car parks
  • Underpasses.

The Council does not treat land that is:

  • Privately owned
  • On properties/estates owned by bodies other than the Council.

How is weed control carried out in the Borough?

The chemicals used by local authorities are strictly controlled and reviewed by DEFRA (the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Weeds on hard surfaces are treated two times a year. The weed killer used is a contact herbicide which is a glyphosate mix. It can only act on weeds that have already emerged above ground level and the herbicide is absorbed through the leaves into the plant. When the weeds are growing the herbicide should take effect in approximately seven to 10 days. 

The benefits of the contact herbicide are that it does not contaminate the soil and water table and does not harm wildlife or pets. It is important to note that the weed killer cannot be used:

  • In extreme weather conditions - for instance in hot temperatures weed control has to be halted due to evaporation of the spray.
  • If there is a risk of rain - because the weed killer would be washed off before it could be absorbed by the weed.
  • If it is too windy - the herbicide could drift on to the adjacent land and cause damage.

In certain circumstances where the weeds have grown very large, they may be strimmed or manually removed instead.