I want to make my town pesticide-free

People up and down the country are calling for an end to the use of hazardous chemicals in their towns and cities. From Edinburgh to Derry, to Glastonbury and London, towns and cities across the UK are significantly reducing their pesticide use, or phasing it out altogether, thanks to campaigners like you. But there’s still a long way to go and we are here to help you make your local area pesticide-free.

We offer expertise and advice as you develop your campaign and are also happy to support you by speaking directly to your local councillors or other land managers.

The important thing to remember is that this is your campaign and you can make a difference.

Be part of the growing Pesticide-Free Towns movement and leave a lasting legacy for your local area which protects people and the environment.

Become a campaigner*

* Note that by signing up we are able to help guide you through the campaign process,
but you do not need to sign up to use our resources. They are free to all.

Meet other campaigners

Active Pesticide-Free Towns Campaigns

Campaigners and councils across the country are working to make their towns pesticide-free.

Search the map to find out if there is an active pesticide-free campaign where you live.

Click on the flags to read more.

Get informed

Our Guide for Campaigners contains an overview of all the information you will need so is a great place to start. It contains information on where and why pesticides are used in urban areas, describes the human and environmental health effects of pesticides and provides tips on what to do when reaching out to your local council.

If you are the first campaigner in your area, try to contact any local groups that might be interested in helping you out. The most obvious would be environmental groups but there may also be groups working on health, parents groups and groups that use public green spaces. They may be keen to join forces.

Pesticide-Free Towns Campaign Guide

Get specific

You will need to find out if your council is using pesticides. The vast majority do use pesticides so a quick google search to see if your council has gone pesticide-free should be enough. Find our useful guide on understanding your local council here.

If you can’t find any information online, email your council directly to find out. If they won’t tell you, you can draft a Freedom of Information request, which we would be happy to help you with.

Understanding your local council
Understanding your local council

Get advice

If you are stuck, contact pesticide-free@pan-uk.org directly to get help and advice on how best to develop your local campaign.

You can also join the Pesticide-Free Towns Facebook group to connect with other campaigners, share information, updates and more.

Get political

So you are informed and familiar with the issues around urban pesticide use- that’s great! Now to start campaigning…

Start a petition demanding that your local council goes pesticide-free and begin collecting signatures. Some councils will have a facility on their website where local people can start a petition, or you can use one of the many online petition sites available such as Change.org. You can also choose to do a paper petition instead of an online one, or even as an addition for local residents who don’t have the internet.

Elections are a great time to get commitments from prospective councillors. Check to see if there is a council (or mayoral) election coming up in your area and try to get the candidates to pledge to go pesticide-free on all council land if elected.

Get support

To attract more concerned citizens to the campaign, try organising a public meeting or raising the issue at already existing meetings of like-minded people (e.g. local environmental groups). You might also reach out to local businesses to see if they might help promote your campaign. Find our guide on how to grow your petition here.

How to grow a petition

Get attention

Write letters to your local media, run street stalls, talk to your neighbours, friends and colleagues about your concerns.

Print off our leaflets and posters and put them up in local shops, libraries and anywhere else you can think of.

If there is an area that you know is pesticide-free, such as a local park, allotment or even your own garden, you could put up one of our ‘Pesticide- Free Zone’ signs to raise awareness around the issue.

Pesticide-Free Zone Poster
Pesticide-Free Towns Campaign Leaflet

Get strategic

You may want to target particular councillors, either those you know might be allies, those who represent the ward you live in or perhaps those who hold a relevant portfolio such as Head of the Environment Committee. Every council is structured differently, so do some research on how yours works and consider reaching out to potential allies directly. You could write them a letter, email and/or ask for a meeting to discuss the issue.

Instead of treating councillors as targets, try working with them as allies and presenting the journey towards going pesticide-free as a joint mission which you want to help them with.

Pesticide Free Towns - Sample Report to Council
Pesticide-free Towns - Different Approaches in Europe

Campaigner Voices

There are around 100 Pesticide-Free Towns campaigns across the UK. All of them are run by ordinary people who are doing incredible things!

Here are some of their stories to inspire and motivate you on your Pesticide-Free Towns journey.

James Byrne - Campaigner Voices - Pesticide-Free Stirling
Janie Bickersteth - Campaigner Voices - Pesticide-Free Lambeth
Nicola Scott - Campaigner Voices - Pesticide-Free Trafford
Geoff Juden - Campaigner Voices - Pesticide-Free Tower Hamlets
Patricia Dance - Campaigner for a Pesticide-Free Rossendale

Posters and other resources

Guide for Campaigners

Pesticide-Free Towns Campaign Guide

Understanding your council

Understanding your local council

Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information Request

Grow a petition

How to grow a petition

Campaign Leaflet

Pesticide-Free Towns Campaign Leaflet

Social Media Guide

Social Media Guide for Campaigners

Myth Buster

Glyphosate myth buster

Approaches in Europe

Pesticide-free Towns - Different Approaches in Europe

Campaign Poster

Pesticide Free Towns Campaign Poster

Sample letter to Council

Pesticide Free Towns - Sample Report to Council

Download a Pesticide-Free Zone Poster

Pesticide-Free Zone Poster