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Freedom of information request shows extent of glyphosate use

A Freedom of Information request has shown that glyphosate weed killer is being used by all councils covering Abbots Langley.

Below is the response to Hertfordshire County Council, Three Rivers District Council and Abbots Langley Parish Council sent by Belinda Phillips of Abbots in Transition (ALTTA). The letter is published with Belinda's permission.


Dear Councillor,

It would seem that all councils covering Abbots Langley are using glyphosate (Roundup) weed killer (see table below). This is a known carcinogen and is being used as such levels it is entering the water supply and human bodies. It has a negative effect on the human gut bacteria and therefore a negative effect on human health.

table of glyphosate in Abbots Langley


It is an indiscriminate herbicide and kills plants that our wildlife need to thrive. These non-target organisms may experience direct toxic effects from the herbicide, or be indirectly affected by changes to ecosystems or food availability. We are seeing a rapid fall in insect biomass and this chemical, as well as our habit of overcutting and strimming, are implicated in this.

On behalf of ALTTA (Abbots Langley in Transition Association), we ask you to halve your use of this chemical over the coming year and continue to halve it year on year until use is so low it can be eliminated.

Alternatives are:

  • Leave the grass to grow and treat like a hay meadow
  • Actively plant wildflowers
  • Allow so-called weeds to grow in the grass. They look pretty and have a beneficial effect on soils and the ecosystem.
  • White vinegar soap and salt mix
  • Mulching
  • Hand weeding
  • Strimming
  • Boiling water
  • Alcohol
  • Grazing animals – goats, ducks and hens are great weed clearers.

Please, would you pass a motion to take the use of glyphosate out of your system and encourage more biodiversity especially meadow flowers? While you are cutting back on glyphosate please would you introduce a policy of labelling where the product is sprayed so those of us that are concerned about our health and that of children and animals can steer clear.

Please, would you let me know what your plans are?

Many thanks,

Belinda Phipps

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