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Residents get the opportunity to opt out of chemical weed spray of city roads

Published: 7 May 2021

Exeter's wild City project sees wild flower blooms on roadsides across the city

Residents in Exeter are being given the chance to opt out of the first weed spray of the year of roads in Exeter to reduce the use of potentially–damaging chemical controls in the city.

Over the last four years the Green Space team have reduced the use of chemical controls significantly.

But in an effort to increase the reductions even further, the team are now offering residents the opportunity to opt out of the first Highways weed spray of 2021.

The first spray will commence on 17 May and it will take up to 28 working days to complete all the roads in Exeter.

Residents considering applying to opt out, must be able to commit to maintaining part, or all, of their road, cul-de-sac, or street, depending on size.

They can do this either individually, or as part of a residential group.

Each request to opt out will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and only where residents have adequate support, and are able to maintain their areas, will the Council approve.

In 2019 Exeter City Council committed to a Net Zero Carbon Exeter by 2030.

As part of that commitment, biodiversity has become a significant part of the Green Spaces strategy. Over the last four years the Green Space team, working with partners in Devon Wildlife Trust and Devon County Council, have worked to build on a biodiversity programme, started by the ‘Wild City’, wild flower meadows.

In 2019 and 2020, this foundation progressed, and now, across the city, highways grass verges are maintained as part of an extensive, and interlinked, meadow grass programme.

This programme helps to support habitat for dramatically declining invertebrate and pollinating species.

The Council recognised that continuing to build on existing biodiversity work was only one step towards managing an increasingly recognised environmental crisis.

Understanding the environmental impacts of the Green Space service, including the use chemical weed control, was another.

To help combat species and biodiversity loss, the Council also committed in 2019 to investigating safe alternatives to weed control, as well as actively pursuing reductions in the use of chemical controls whereever practicable.

If residents would like to support efforts to reduce the use of chemical controls, then they should contact the Green Space team on 01392 262630, or email P&

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