This page details progress on the work of the Implementation Group taking forward the Amenity Use Action Plan developed under the UK strategy for the sustainable use of plant protection products.
Plant protection products are not only used in agriculture and horticulture. Significant quantities are also deployed for amenity uses (including the highways and parks sectors). These uses have historically received less attention than farm uses and there may be less supervision of spraying activities in some situations. There is also less organised monitoring of use patterns in this sector.
There are, therefore, concerns over the possible impact of the use and disposal of products by some amenity users. The Voluntary Initiative for pesticides has examined the amenity sector and identified hard surface uses and aquatic weed control as particular potential threats to water and uses in amenity grassland as the greatest threat to biodiversity. An Amenity Forum has been established to bring together the key stakeholders and to encourage best practice. The Action Plan for the amenity sector aims to build on this initiative.
The Amenity Action Plan (pdf, 3 pages) has been agreed by all group members. It summarises the aims and activities of the group.
In October 2007 PSD commissioned a study to provide information on current amenity use of pesticides, to support of the National Pesticides Strategy. The main aims of this study were to determine:
UK usage of pesticides in amenity situations;
key drivers of amenity plant production products (PPP) use; and
the extent to which best practice is adopted by those involved in awarding contracts or carrying out weed control operations.
The findings from the study are now available in the final report: Determining the Usage and Usage Patterns of Amenity Pesticides Across the UK (pdf, 144 pages, 2.0Mb)
In 2010 CRD commissioned a study to update the knowledge gained from the 2007 survey of amenity use of pesticides. The main aims of this study remained the same.
The findings of the 2011 study are now available in the final report: Determining the Usage and Usage Patterns of Amenity Pesticides Across the UK (pdf, 240 pages, 1.6Mb)
Action Plan Meetings
The next Amenity Action Plan meeting to be decided.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
The Group considered the issues surrounding herbicide resistance in the amenity sector and in particular the need for improved education, training and awareness within the sector. They also heard that CRD intended to write to local authority Chief Executives outlining the importance of ensuring users follow good/best practice in amenity areas. Members were informed about the research being undertaken for CRD to develop the HARDSPEC model for targeted applications of pesticides on hard surfaces. Lastly they heard about the research looking at using different weed control options. This ongoing important research was being undertaken between East Malling Research, Kent County Council Highway Service, the Environment Agency and University of Hertfordshire.
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
Members discussed the latest position regarding the implementation of the Sustainable Use Directive (SUD). They also discussed whether use reduction targets could be used as a tool to improve amenity practice. However, it was agreed that implementation of 'integrated approaches' was likely to be a better measure than any possible mandatory reduction in use. The Group agreed that planning and providing the correct training was likely to be a key factor in the successful implementation of the SUD. They also suggested that greater use of local newspapers/journals to indicate when local authority spraying was due to take place. Finally the group suggested that further guidance was needed for those with 'mobile pesticide stores' (such as jobbing gardeners and facilities management contractors etc.)
Tuesday 24 March 2009
Members discussed the effects of the EU active substance review programme on amenity sector products and noted that the Availability Action Plan Group could provide advice on addressing the gaps. Reports were received on the Environment Agency’s River Basin Management Plan consultation exercise, and from the Amenity Forum Communications Working Group. Options for improving communication with regional users and Local Authority contacts were considered, and members agreed to ask the Amenity Forum to promote the development of more regional networks. The group briefly reviewed the Amenity Action Plan and suggested some areas for updating.
Tuesday 23 September 2008
The group discussed the effect of the EU active substance review programme on the amenity sector: dichlobenil is now under revocation and new restrictions on diuron have effectively removed this active substance from amenity use. Members were updated on progress of the proposed EU Thematic Strategy and Sustainable Use Directive. The Environment Agency (EA) reported on progress of the draft River Basin Management Plans. The Plans identify levels of Water Framework Directive non-compliance and the measures proposed for tackling these. Forum members inputs to the EA project on mitigation measures were recognised. The group heard that, in 2009, the EA planned to start investigative monitoring for glyphosate in a small number of agricultural and urban catchments. Members discussed the viability of a 'pilot catchment project' to give an indication of pesticide levels and activity in a controlled area. They considered new avenues to increase contacts with local authorities with a view to improving awareness and knowledge of current amenity pesticides issues, such as 'best practice' contracts. The group looked ahead to the forthcoming Amenity Weed Control conference, which could prove a good source of contacts. The Northern Amenity Forum subgroup received praise; this network of local authority amenity managers is working together to share best practice knowledge and it is a potential model for others. Content for the new Amenity Forum website was discussed. The group emphasised the importance of up to date training and IPM awareness at all levels of the amenity sector.
Wednesday 14 May 2008
The group met for a special meeting to discuss the results of the recently commissioned study on current amenity use of pesticides and the recently published final report: Determining the Usage and Usage Patterns of Amenity Pesticides Across the UK (pdf, 144 pages) and discuss ways of taking these key messages forward.
Wednesday 5 March 2008
The group discussed the Environment Agency's program of monitoring pesticide concentrations in water courses that is currently being updated. Plans for a second Amenity Weed Control conference in October 2008 and industry specific workshops in Spring-Summer 2009 were discussed.
Thursday 4 October
The Amenity Action Plan was agreed by the group. The previous day's very successful 'Amenity Weed Control' event, held at the The Food and Environment Research Agency was discussed. It was decided that future events will be organised with a similar format. dates and venues to be confirmed shortly.
Monday 21 May
Details were presented to the group of the BASIS ‘Guardian’ training course for point of sale staff, and further details on the BASIS/NAAC/NPTC ‘Amenity Assured’ training course. The group discussed possible R&D projects based on the ‘comparative weed control methodology project proposal’, and the best ways to identify and disseminate results of such R&D. As part of the action plan and working with the Amenity Forum, it was explained that an amenity event is being considered for later in the year at FERA, and possibly one at East Malling Research (EMR),. The events will be aimed at on local authorities, contract managers and contract specifications.
Monday 30 October
The Department for Communities and Local Government gave an update on performance management for local authorities. The group discussed the possible implications of the EU Thematic Strategy and Sustainable Use Directive. It was concluded that the Action Plan Group should also keep up to date on developments with the InterReg III project and look to conclude the Action Plans within the next few weeks.
Monday 5 June
Progress of other Action Plan Groups was summarised and Defra offered a number of possible options for engaging local authorities. The 1996 Kynetec Survey on Amenity use was discussed as a good exercise to repeat in order to get a picture of activities 10 years on. Policy on amenity weed control in other EU member States was discussed. The Group considered an updated action plan and were asked for further comments so that a final plan could be agreed and set in motion at the October 2006 meeting.
Tuesday 18 April
At this first meeting PSD explained the role of this and the other Action Plan Groups whose outputs would help implement the Strategy. Group membership was discussed and members were asked to think about who else should usefully be involved in the Group’s work. The Group covered issues such as communicating with the target audience, amenity indicators, and incentives to encourage involvement from local authorities, and discussed an initial draft action plan.