A WILDLIFE charity run by Chris Packham has praised a council for its work in reducing the use of a harmful pesticide.

Wild Justice, which was co-founded by the TV presenter and naturalist, said Lewes District Council’s efforts to reduce the usage of glyphosate were “impressive”.

A spokesman for the charity said: “The council doesn’t use glyphosate on its own land, except on rare occasions for certain species such as Japanese knotweed.

The Argus: Chris Packham is a TV presenter and naturalist.Chris Packham is a TV presenter and naturalist.

“Their policy on pesticides was impressive, with a whole section dedicated to the use of glyphosate and alternatives, and they plan to have all public parks largely or completely free of pesticides.”

Glyphosate is a chemical used to treat weeds on pathways and roads.

Residents in Lewes initially banded together in 2016, gaining over 2,000 signatures in the process, to stop the use of chemical pesticides.

The council invested in a foam stream machine after a report revealed the probable withdrawal for a licence to use glyphosate for weed control. Hot foam is biodegradable but can require more applications to be effective.

The Argus: Glyphosate is known as a "probable carcinogen" to humans.Glyphosate is known as a "probable carcinogen" to humans.

Councillor Julie Carr, cabinet member for recycling, waste and open spaces, said the council’s approach was good for biodiversity.

She said: “The council’s change of approach to more environmentally friendly forms of weed control has been in progress for several years.

“More recently, the Co-operative Alliance introduced a pesticide reduction policy that dovetails with our pollinator strategy, climate change and sustainability strategy and biodiversity strategy.”

Councillor Matthew Bird, cabinet member for sustainability was pleased the charity praised the council’s work.

He said: “I’m really glad Chris Packham and his colleagues at Wild Justice have commented positively on the work we are doing.

“Chris has been telling it like it is for a long time and the comments from Wild Justice mean a lot to us and help validate what we are trying to achieve with nature recovery in the face of the climate and ecological emergencies.”

The Argus:

The council has been trying other methods to help improve biodiversity and allowing wild flowers to grow such as reducing their mowing schedule and flower planting schemes.

Wild Justice is run by Chris Packham, Mark Avery, a former RSPB conservation director, as well as Ruth Tingay who is a conservationist.

The charity “stands up for wildlife using the legal system and seeking changes to existing laws”.

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