Last October we handed in our Save Our Soil petition to Birmingham City Council (BCC). The petition, signed by residents across the city, called on BCC to produce and implement a no-pesticide strategy by 2025, which includes:

  • A complete ban on the use of all pesticides including: herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
  • Stop spraying weeds.
  • Go organic with all seeds and bulbs.
  • Use only peat-free compost.
  • Use organic growing practices when caring for all council owned spaces.
  • Ensure that council owned spaces take into account all biodiversity.
  • The strategy should engage at ward level during implementation and ensure it

BCC has now responded to our petition and you can read the full response HERE. Some of main points within the response are:

  • BCC is committed to the reduction in use of all pesticides in the management of its green open spaces and highways network – with a cessation if/when a viable alternative becomes available.
  • BCC confirms that they intend to cease the use of pesticides as a form of treatment with parks and green open spaces next year.
  • BCC is committed to year-on-year reductions in pesticide use for invasive species and will constantly review existing practices.
  • Spraying of the footway and gutter lines as part of the highways management programme will remain but continues exploration of alternative chemicals and practices will be ongoing.
  • Where BCC use wildflower seed for creating new meadows this comes from certified sources.
  • Most land managed by the city council do not use or add any form of peat, soil or compost-based amerliorants.
  • The city’s parks section undertakes to compost much of its own green waste. The resulting compost does not receive any additives or chemical treatments and so is organically produced.
  • Committed to the phasing our of peat as part of its plant production practices for the 2024 season.
  • The City of Nature 25-year Plan sets out how BCC are reviewing all parks and open spaces to ensure that these meet the needs of the local community and play a part in delivering increases in biodiversity value and climate change adaptation services. Through this plan BCC will provide Environmental Justice in a fair and equitable manner.