Wadebridge Town Council became free from spraying in March 2016, following Edward Treverton’s appointment as Senior Groundsman. He requested for a no spraying policy due to having strong personal beliefs in no longer using chemicals. The Council fully supported this and local support in the community has always been strong, once the public are educated and get used to seeing things different they understand and agree to the cause.

Which of our areas has this affected?
We have 4 large grassed areas including Jubilee Park, Egloshayle Park, Coronation Park & Wadebridge Cemetery. In all of these you will notice various flower beds, wildflower areas, less strimmed areas etc. It has also affected some grass verges we used to cut on behalf of Cornwall Council.

Does our policy cover just weed killers…or wider pesticides such as rodenticides?
Our Parks team don’t use any kind of pesticide/insecticide, our policy aims to promote the importance and value of a quality environment and its contribution to the quality of life for the community of Wadebridge. Also to support our community in its enjoyment of our local environment and to carry out our work in an efficient way that minimises or eliminates its adverse impact on our environment.

What alternative methods do we use and how effective are they?
We use a self-drive powered brush weeder, gas flame, strimmer and hand weeding. The wildflower areas are in chosen locations and have a management plan in place. The methods are as affective, the only difference our team found was that the spraying just lasted longer – even though spraying is still not a permanent solution. New techniques can require more time and sometimes more staff, however certain areas have gained back time due to weekly strims turning into annual strims/cuts, especially the wild flower areas.

What has been the reaction/feedback of going pesticide free from residents, business etc?
The Town Council has not had any complaints from the public or businesses of the Town. The occasional person does ask the question directly to the staff on the ground who are then informed of the policy and reasons behind it.

Our advice to others thinking of making the change
The advice we would have is that you can do it, to make the leap and not look back. There have been no serious problems that have arisen from this change and the pros far outweigh the cons. The parks that we maintain if anything look better than they did ever before, spraying has not been missed at all.

We'd like to add a massive thank you to the Cornwall Urban Buzz project who helped us along our pesticide free journey, helping us create and introduce the wilder flower areas. Please see photos below of the Coronation Wildflower meadows in 2019.

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