Hackney slates story that it is phasing out glyphosate in London Fields and other parks

Wildflower meadow / field, Hackney Downs NE London E8 080716 © David Altheer
Lon FieldsWild: London Fields Hackney wildflower patch / meadow 090716 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Grounds for controversy: London Fields wildflowers, and top, Hackney Downs

* Update 121121: Hackney council today announced progress towards making the green spaces on its 237 estates glyphosate-free. Housing councillor Clayeon McKenzie said: “…our estates green spaces are now going Glyphosate free — helping to support local wildlife and encourage the borough’s biodiversity. 

“From encouraging people to walk and cycle in the borough more, to installing solar panels on council buildings, this commitment to reducing weed killers is part of our work to rebuild a greener Hackney as part of our coronavirus recovery.”



HACKNEY HAS EMPHATICALLY denied a claim by Loving Dalston that the council is phasing out glyphosate.

After the news site’s latest report on pesticide spraying in the borough, the town hall emailed: “We have not changed our policy in relation to the use of glyphosate in parks and green spaces in the borough.

“Hackney council uses glyphosate, in the form of Roundup, primarily to control weeds on paths and shrub beds in parks.

“It is also used on the London Fields meadow to target aggressive weeds – which would otherwise prevent the colourful meadow flowers from growing while the meadow is establishing itself.

“The product is always administered by qualified staff who target the spraying and follow the application guidelines; trying to minimise the volume of glyphosate used as with the meadow in London Fields for the last few years.

London Fields © david.altheers[at ]gmail.com

“We have not stopped using glyphosate at Hackney Downs or in any other parks, and will continue to use it for the targeted spraying of weeds as it continues to be declared safe by the Defra (the Environment department), the Health and Safety Executive and the European Union.”

The editor of Loving Dalston, David Altheer, who wrote the story, commented: “I was sent the statement twice, which is unusual.

“The second version omitted any mention of Hackney Downs, which seems to confirm what I have established to my satisfaction although I did not report it specifically that Roundup is no longer used at the Downs.

“It’s amusing that the rejoinder mentions bodies that have not banned glypho but fails to mention the London local authority that has banned it

“Perhaps more significant is that Penny Bevan, the council’s public health director, did not put her name to the claim that it was misleading of Loving Dalston to allege that glyphosate was ‘on the way out in Hackney’.

“It would have been strange had she done so because her previous statement, reported by this site, stated that in response to ‘public concern’ about the wildflower meadow in London Fields, ploughing was now Hackney’s main way of dealing with weeds.”

Hamish Scott 070816

* Backstory: Hackney bows to glyphosate pressure; Penny Bevan on Hackney’s Rich ListLet us spray, says Hackney; Hackney estate tackles social weeds; London Fields hipster heaven costs council £140k 

Wildflower meadow / field London Fields N of Broadway Market Hackney E8 111114 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Even on chilly days, park users enjoy London Fields wildflowers’ meadow

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