The Pesticide-Free Towns Pledge

At last count, 38 different toxic pesticides were being used in UK towns and cities. They are sprayed in parks, playgrounds and other green spaces, road verges, pavements and around shopping centres, hospitals and schools. Almost all of the pesticides used are weedkillers designed to do nothing more than keep places looking ‘neat and tidy’.

These chemicals are linked to an array of health problems including cancer, asthma, birth defects and reproductive issues. Vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant mothers and the elderly are particularly at risk.

Wildlife such as bees, birds and hedgehogs are increasingly seeking refuge in our towns and cities. However, the overuse of pesticides in urban areas is contaminating the natural resources that they depend upon. Our pets can also be susceptible to pesticide poisoning.

But urban pesticide use is unnecessary. There are many viable and cost-effective non-chemical alternatives available and more than 60 towns and cities across the UK have already taken action to end or significantly reduce their pesticide use.

68% of UK citizens want their local schools, parks, playgrounds and other open spaces to be pesticide-free

I am a current councillor and I commit to take at least two of the following actions in the next 12 months:

  • Push for the council to adopt PAN UK’s three-year pesticide phase-out plan.
  • Encourage the council to undertake trials and pilot schemes for non-chemical alternatives to pesticides.
  • Organise a full council debate on the subject of going pesticide-free.
  • Develop a Motion to be put before the council calling for an end to the use of pesticides on all areas of land under council control.
  • Support the council’s parks and green spaces managers to go pesticide-free.
  • Work with council officers to plant pesticide-free urban wildflower meadows to create a haven for bees and other wildlife.
  • Promote existing good work being undertaken by council officers to reduce pesticide use, including publicising any areas that are already pesticide-free.
  • Promote the concept of going pesticide-free to other local land managers (e.g. universities, companies which manage transport infrastructure, housing estate managers etc.)
  • Communicate with members of the public about the benefits of going pesticide free.
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Sign the pledge by ticking the box

By signing the Pesticide-Free Towns Pledge you will also be added to an email list of like-minded councillors from across the UK who all support the pesticide-free approach. We will email you as a group occasionally and you are free to unsubscribe at any time.

In return, PAN UK commits to supporting you in the following ways:

  • Work with councillors and relevant council officers to create a bespoke pesticide policy.
  • Provide a three-year plan for phasing out pesticide use in your area.
  • Run webinars to provide practical help as to how to reduce pesticide use.
  • Help to develop suitable trials and pilot schemes for non-chemical alternatives.
  • Attend meetings alongside elected councillors in order to support their approaches to other councillors, council officers or the public.
  • Provide information and support in all areas related to going pesticide free, including a toolkit specifically for councils.
  • Provide sample council Motions associated to going pesticide free.
  • Assist in publicising measures that are already being undertaken by the council to stop and reduce the use of pesticides.
  • Provide suggestions for public information materials and messaging.