A bio-diverse approach to weed management
Hounslow Council has been significantly reducing the use of herbicide for the management of weeds throughout the borough. This reduction is part of our commitment to Cleaner Greener Hounslow, further promoting bio-diversity and increasing our green infrastructure.
This approach is fully supported by our service providers Hounslow Highways across public highways and Greenspace 360 in parks and open spaces, enabling the borough to become even more hospitable to plants and animals. Both providers have overseen the introduction and management of natural wildflower sites that continue to flourish through a considered verge management programme.
The use of specific herbicides will be restricted and only considered when it is not viable to use non-chemical alternatives, for example, controlling the spread of an invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed.
Removing herbicides does present operational challenges, herbicides have always been considered a cost-effective solution due to their less labour-intensive results. Therefore, we request residents remain patient as non-chemical treatments generally take longer to impact weeds, usually an additional 2-3 weeks.
For more information on weed treatment on public highways, please visit https://hounslowhighways.org/street-cleansing/treatment-of-weeds/
Domestic use of herbicides
Residents can also contribute to reducing the use of herbicides domestically by:
- Treating existing hard surfaces (paths and driveways) with persistent weeds by manual removal, boiling water, or by a thermal killer, providing directed heat to remove weeds.
- Preventing weeds by covering the soil in between plants with thick layers of compost, shredded bark, cardboard, newspaper or other organic material. This process called ‘mulching’ suppress weeds and feeds the soil beneath.
- Applying organic weed killers containing pelargonic acid (a fatty acid) – attacking the top growth.