Published: 27 October 2022
Westminster City Council has now banned a harmful weedkiller called glyphosate on all their managed outdoor space. This is one of several methods to improve green spaces and encourage native wildlife to flourish in Westminster.
Glyphosate is a toxic substance in many commercial weedkillers and sprays. It has a significant environmental impact as it removes the habitats and food sources of a variety of native insects, contaminates water sources, and sustained exposure causes significant harm to key species, such as bees, that support our ecosystems.
Consequently, the ban incorporates all products containing glyphosate on all council managed outdoor spaces and housing estates. With the council encouraging all landowners in the borough to follow suit. This follows from the previous phasing out of the use of glyphosate in parks, play areas, streets, and open spaces in 2020.
The ban is just one of the initiatives taken on by the local authority to improve green spaces within Westminster. The Council’s parks services now proudly hold 28 Green Flag Awards for their parks and outdoor spaces. The awards are a national scheme that recognise well-managed parks and green spaces. Westminster’s outdoor spaces are now setting a benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the UK and further afield.
Additionally, the first section of the new green spine through North Westminster was unveiled in September, bringing more nature orientated spaces for residents to enjoy. The landscaped pedestrian route combines seating with opportunities for walking, play and exercise surrounded by flowerbeds and trees to encourage native wildlife and insects to flourish.
By focusing on bettering Westminster’s outdoor spaces and encouraging more residents to take an interest in good biodiverse practice, it is hoped others will help combat the ecological emergency.
Cllr Ryan Jude, Deputy Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Biodiversity said:
I am really pleased that we have delivered on our commitment to totally ban glyphosate in all areas of the city underlining our commitment to tackling the climate and ecological emergency.
Our ambition is to maintain sustainable, green spaces in Westminster, which support health and wellbeing and increase the community’s involvement in the creation of healthy, accessible spaces throughout our City.