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CWC Continues To Support The Aims And Ambitions Of The Amenity Forum

This time last year, Complete Weed Control’s Alan Abel wrote about the trials that our industry faces, the seasonal challenges, BREXIT uncertainty, the loss of important active ingredients and our concerns over the relicensing of Glyphosate – a herbicide that our sector simply cannot do without.

However there were a lot of positives too. The Amenity Forum, led by Independent Chairman, Professor John Moverley OBE, continued to make headway in promoting the safe use of pesticides, encouraging and celebrating best practice methods, being the voice to our government and communicating to the wider public as to why amenity matters.

Amenity issues impact upon every UK citizen each day. Providing safe, healthy and sustainable amenity areas that are fit for purpose is key to our society, a separate website www.getbritainmoving.uk illustrates this well and we were more than happy to get involved in supporting the ‘Why Amenity Matters Week’ held in September. The aim of this campaign was to educate the masses on the importance of the work that gets carried out within our sector and to recognise the contribution of those who help to keep the spaces clean and safe.

We all benefit from the work that goes into maintaining our green spaces, infrastructure, local parks, sports grounds, roadsides, railway lines (“there are no weeds along the train track” we hear you cry. “Exactly” is our response!) More than 18,000 miles of railway track needs to be maintained, trains carry 1,650 million passengers a year – each passenger is impacted by our sector!

Another example is that over 37 million people regularly use parks in the UK. These numbers, all of a sudden, give us a huge insight into the responsibility that we have, by working in amenity.

The Amenity Forum represents the diverse sector behind the maintenance of the managed environment, and we are proud to be hosting a number of annual ‘Updating Events’ again in 2018. These are designed to keep those involved in the amenity sector updated with topical issues. Dates and venues can be found here

These free events seek to address topical issues of interest and relevance to all involved in the amenity sector and will comprise short presentations by speakers drawn from the Chemicals Regulation Division of HSE, BASIS Registration, the National Sprayer Testing Service, STRI, and various hosts and from the Amenity Forum itself.

Consumers, rightly, will always have questions about the use of chemical products. But we must be clear here: any herbicide or similar product used in the UK has to undertake the most rigorous testing before any release is possible and on-going monitoring continues. Chemicals for weed, pest and disease control remain a very important tool in maintaining areas and often provide the most cost effective and efficient method.

We were very relieved at the end of 2017 when the EU voted to renew the license of glyphosate for five years, ending months of deadlock due to a UN study referring to the chemical as “probably carcinogenic”. Other scientists believe that Glyphosate is safe to use and The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) state that it is unlikely to cause cancer in humans. The European Chemicals Agency and other scientific bodies found no link to cancer in humans, however, France plans to implement a ban, President Macron tweeting “as soon as alternatives are found, and within three years at the latest”.

The debate will continue, but we are thankful for renewal, as Glyphosate is vital in weed control – particularly when dealing with invasive weeds like Japanese Knotweed.

John Moverley states: “Most people appreciate that the environment around them is maintained in some way but fewer realise that there is a huge contribution from something called the amenity sector behind this.”

The Complete Weed Control network is very happy to play their part in this huge and essential industry and we look forward to a positive 2018 - a year in which we help to educate and further support the sector. After an unsettling 2017, there is no time like the present to come together and take collective pride in carrying out work that affects everyday life for millions of people in our country.

Professor John Moverley OBE, Chairman of the Amenity Forum.



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