Call for Warwick District Council to stop using pesticides

Call for Warwick District Council to stop using pesticides

7 June 2022
Signatures: 860Next Goal: 1,000
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Sara Lever

Please make sure to enter your home postcode and house number when completing this petition. Check where you see the pencil icon when you sign that your details are correct. For the petition to be effective, we need signatures from those living within the Warwick District Council area. Many thanks.

Pollinators and insects are in massive decline yet insects are pollinators of more than 80% of food crops in Europe, including most fruits and many vegetables. This service has an estimated value of £690 million per year in the UK. The use of pesticides is having a devastating effect on pollinators and other insect populations which then affects our birds who feed on them especially our songbirds and small mammals such as hedgehogs. Wildlife also faces problems with habitat loss, pollutants and climate change. Our parks, road verges, and other green spaces can form a wildlife-friendly habitat network to protect and encourage wildlife but this will only work if we stop spraying pesticides. Pesticides may also threaten human health (with some studies linking pesticides to cancer). 

There are many ways we can control weeds without chemicals using mechanical methods such as flame, foam and hot water treatment or electronic control systems for dealing with invasive systems such as Japanese knotweed. We also need to allow some areas to grow wild or be managed meadows rather than continually mown.

Warwick District Council pesticide-free by 2025

We want Warwick District Council (WDC) to be pesticide-free by 2025 by taking the following actions:

  1. Commit to phasing out all pesticides, (which include herbicides such as glyphosate, fungicides, insecticides and synthetic insecticides) - in all council managed spaces, including but not limited to parks, playgrounds, gardens, verges, pathways, roads, pavements and street infrastructure. Contractors must also use pesticide-free weeding methods. 

  2. Run trials of non-chemical weed management alternatives over full-year seasonal cycles and create an adapted plan to replace pesticides. There are many viable and cost-effective alternatives which are available and already in use by many other councils across the UK. The council should evaluate alternatives ready for full-scale adoption by 2025 at the latest. The only acceptable use of toxic weed killers will be to treat illegal and notifiable noxious weeds, e.g. Giant hogweed, but only when these are not responding to treatment by non-toxic alternative methods.

  3. Create and run a comms campaign to accompany the pesticide phase-out to help residents to understand the change in management and its benefits to their health and biodiversity. The campaign is to run for at least six months and include: signs, news articles and events. 

Why are we concerned?

Our verges, pavements and parks are routinely sprayed on the instruction of WDC with pesticides, despite the negative impact on biodiversity and public health. We want Warwick District to stop using pesticides to encourage wildflowers, assist wildlife, and not switch from one pesticide to another with unmeasured long-term effects, hoping it will be better. Many weeds are just wildflowers, and we need to think differently and accept that weeds or pests are plants and animals that are part of nature.

Pesticide use is an issue many people are now raising concerns about, and organisations such as Pesticides Action Network have documented the problem over time. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Glyphosate is in products like Roundup and Weedol and is widely used. There is a live debate about glyphosate’s environmental impacts and use in gardens (e.g. see Garden Organic - Glyphosate Debate). Studies have shown that pesticides and other chemicals have sublethal effects on bees. Inert ingredients within the products can also affect foraging bees. Many countries and cities worldwide have banned or strongly regulated the use of pesticides. 

We want Warwick District Council to join the many councils (40+) that have gone pesticide-free. 


  1. Pollination worth £690M p.a.
  2. March 2015 IARC says glyphosate is probably carcinogenic
  3. Switching pesticides doesn't help
  4. History of pesticide issues
  5. March 2015 IARC says glyphosate is probably carcinogenic
  6. Garden Organic - glyphosate debate
  7. Sublethal effects on bees
  8. Inert ingredients can also affect foraging bees
  9. Many countries banning glyphosate
  10. Blossoms without bees in Southwest China
  11. Glyphosate found in most humans tested
  12. The Guardian 2June 2022, more effects discovered by scientists -
Support now
Signatures: 860Next Goal: 1,000
Support now