Managing weeds in Hounslow - working together to reduce chemical treatments

Hounslow Council is leading the way in using environmentally-friendly methods for managing weeds in the borough. it's cleaner and safer but it does take a little longer.

Published: Thursday, 21st July 2022

Highways worker removing weeds
'Weed' did it: A Hounslow Highways worker gets to grips with the borough's weeds.

Highways officers in Hounslow are taking a ‘hands-on' approach to removing weeds from the borough’s verges and roadside. 

The move is part of an ongoing plan to reduce herbicide chemical sprays on public green spaces in favour of more environmentally-friendly alternatives. 

Working in partnership with Hounslow Highways and Lampton Community Services, the Council is leading the way in promoting the manual removal of weeds wherever possible. 

The partners have agreed to only consider using chemical herbicides to treat highly invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed. 

And while this greener alternative is great for wildlife, it means getting to the root of the problem will take a bit longer. 

The Council and its partners will be using these non-chemical methods on the borough’s highways, verges, housing estates and other areas.

With the warmer weather making ideal growing conditions, our teams are already tackling the weeds. However, because the treatment is more labour-intensive, it will take longer to get to and address all sites around the borough. 

There’s plenty you can do to cut back on chemical use in your gardens

Here are some top tips from the team about how you can go natural:

  • Only organic - It’s best to use organic weed killers in your garden. These contain pelargonic acid, a fatty substance that attacks the top growth. They are different to chemical-based weedkillers and are better for the environment.
  • Mulching - prevent weeds by covering the soil between the plants with thick layers of compost, shredded bark, newspaper or other organic material. It’s a process called ‘mulching’ and it helps prevent weeds while continuing to let the soil breathe.
  • Hands on - Pulling weeds up by the roots, can work on hard surfaces such as paths and driveways. You could also try carefully pouring boiling water on the unwanted plants or invest in a thermal ‘weed burner’. 

For more information about weed treatment on public highways, visit: https://hounslowhighways.org/street-cleansing/treatment-of-weeds/

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