Consultation on the reduction of pavement herbicide treatment


The current 'weed survey' at seeks your views on the reduction of herbicide spraying from two to one annually. Anyone with a love of plants, birds and insects will be enjoying the greening of the urban environment. There are many obvious benefits such as the plant above, which is Jersey Cudweed Gnaphalium luteoalbum. This is a protected species on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside act, a critically endangered plant but becoming more and more common in the London boroughs. Often appearing on development sites, as here on the Cambridge Road Estate (CRE). 

Another advantage of the suffusion in pavement plants is the amount of seed produced  for birds such as house sparrows. Large stands of persicaria's and knotgrasses particularly are great for birds. Lining the route from my house to Norbiton station, a water bent grass, recognisable due to its many 'elbows'. Declining farmland species are also thriving in strange places, including the diminutive field madder above found along Swan Path.

and so the pavement becomes a seed source for all kinds of vegetation. The photo above is from  my  tree nursery (mainly silver birches) gleaned from the cracks in the local pavements, but there are also lavenders, Californian poppies, various herbs and all for free.

But there are disadvantages also and some of these arise due to the planting of 'stipas', or S. American and Antipodian grasses used in cheap municipal planting schemes (see above at CRE). One piece of said grass breaks off and a whole new plant is produced and in places least wanted such as: - the cracks in the pavement, or unimproved grassland. Heaven forbid if these mega-rooting specimens get into the green roofs proposed for the CRE.

You may not be keen on a plant highway but you may be concerned about the link to glyphosate herbicides and cancer. This is a document from a German laboratory telling me I have glyphosate in my urine. The amount has increased t0 0.77 ug/ml since the last reading of 0.55ug/ml was taken 6 months ago (even after making  a resolution to eat more organic cereals considered to be one of the ingestion routes).


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