Blackpool's Pavement and Carriageway Weed Treatment!

Enveco are contracted by Blackpool Council to deliver a street cleansing service, including the management of weeds, across the town.

Enveco deal with weeds on council land (public realm) which covers; roads, footpaths and parks and open spaces. The primary aim is to prevent problem weeds that compromise drainage systems, cause damage to highway and footpath surfaces, damage/interfere with structures, e.g., walls, or reduce visibility of signage and ensure weeds do not pose a health and safety risk for users of roads and footpaths. Weeds left untreated can cause slip/trip hazards and may cause obstructions on footpaths forcing people to avoid and potentially move onto roads.

An integrated weed management plan is adopted that, combined with street cleansing activities, ensures a year-round approach is taken and does not just focus on killing of weeds through chemical treatment. The frequency has been increased of mechanical sweeping on highways to ensure road gulley’s/kerb edges are kept clear of detritus to reduce opportunities for weed growth. All residential areas have both street and footpath mechanical sweeping scheduled throughout the year, again this reduces the buildup of detritus which can create seed beds for new weed growth, and regular sweeping clears buildup of dead weeds.

Monthly street inspection surveys identify problem areas, in particular growth of mares tail which is resistant to chemical treatment and will direct staff to manually remove weeds.

The above approach is ensuring a reduction in the use of pesticides though as we do not have a viable alternative at present continue to use a glyphosate-based herbicide. This type of herbicide is known as a non-residual translocated herbicide. Glyphosate is used because it is the safest and most effective herbicide that is available and certified for use in amenity situations. It is neutralised in contact with soil and has very low toxicity to humans, animals, and insects, and is widely used by many local authorities across the country.

Weed treatment spraying commences in Spring (April/May) when weeds have started to grow as the herbicide is only effective when sprayed on a plant because residual weed treatment chemicals aren’t used which ‘poison’ the soil. A second spray then takes place in Summer (July/August) on remaining weeds/new growth to prolong the effectiveness of treatment.

Residents can help maintain weed free streets and reduce the use of chemicals by clearing weeds that may have grown in front of their property or haven’t been treated due to parked cars preventing access manually.

The parks and open spaces team have reduced the use of chemicals to control weeds and are phasing out the use around tree bases and park furniture.

The Blackpool Green and Blue Infrastructure Policy has also encouraged the increase of areas left in a more natural state so areas are not being mown or treated to encourage greater bio-diversity.

We hope this information is useful and for regular updates on street cleansing operations please follow our social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter – @envecoblackpool, where we will post information on planned treatment dates.

If residents would like further information on herbicide chemicals used (glyphosate) please visit the Health and Safety Executive page for more information on this link.