Pulling together: Community-led weeding pilots picked

Mendip District Council has announced that Frome and Easton have been chosen to take part in their manual weed management trials.

weedsVolunteers in the Somerset town and village are being asked to step forward and sign-up for the scheme. The Council is to hold its first hoe-down on 26th/27th September.

The aim of these two trials is to establish if the Council and community, by pulling together, can tackle weed control without the use of glyphosate - a weed killer linked to cancer and toxic to birds and insects.

In September 2019, the Council took the decision to stop using glyphosate. The search goes on for an effective substitute but until that time, weeding by hand (and hoe), is the way forward for Mendip.

Cllr Nick Cottle, Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services, said: "When making the decision last year to ban this weed killer, we were expecting the market to provide an alternative product. Unfortunately this hasn't happened.

"We don't want to be in a position to have to return to using glyphosate, which is why we are asking our communities to help us with our weeding trials. We will match their efforts, with the support of our contractors IDVerde, who will also be hand weeding in town centres. We will ensure extra street sweeps are carried out too.

"Many hands make light work. Together we can ensure we are not forced to reintroduce the use of glyphosate in Mendip."

Don't live in Frome or Easton? No problem. Mendip wants community weeding groups to spring up across the district, and they'll help facilitate these, even though they are not part of the official trials.

Register now! www.mendip.gov.uk/communityweeding

You don't have to be a keen gardener, or have the kit. You don't need to be physically fit or agile either, because each group also needs cake makers, flask fillers and general cheerleaders to join in.

There are many reasons to take part in a community weeding group:

  • Enjoy an organised activity in the great outdoors
  • Learn new skills
  • Meet people, and make friends
  • Take pride in your neighbourhood
  • Improve your wellbeing
  • Banish loneliness

Want to see how quick, easy and fun community weeding can be? Check out Cllr Shane Collins' film here:   https://direc.to/eqov