Council Agrees not to spray in Nature Reserve!
21 July 2015
We are delighted that after Chingford members campaigned to the London Borough of Waltham Forest, they and The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) have agreed to HALT their spraying of a new wildflower spot at Pimp Hall Nature Reserve, E4.
An area is due to be planted with wildflowers as part of a Heritage Lottery bid, and the preparation plans included spraying with herbicide Glyphosate.
Many UK councils and European cities are limiting or stopping their use of this method, for a number of reasons. There are alternatives in this situation and we are committed to supporting these alternatives to happen. Please get in touch to help with the alternatives and keep the pressure on to reduce the use of herbicides in these cases.
Glyphosate was recently classified "probably carcinogenic" by the World Health Organisation. It has been linked to cancer in several studies due to its properties as a potential endocrine disruptor – chemicals that can interfere with the hormonal system of mammals. This area is surrounded by public space well used by all ages.
Impact on wildlife:
When honeybees come into contact with glyphosate, they lose their ability to eat and have a much harder time learning how to forage properly. (The Journal of Experimental Biology, September 2014) Researchers from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina found that Roundup (the internationally used glyphosate product made by Monsanto) exhibits harm at sub-lethal levels. They looked at how bees respond to trace levels of Roundup that match what they might find in a real-world foraging situation.
Exposed bees have been found to have reduced sucrose sensitivity, or a lowered ability to identify and track food. Exposed bees also experience a drop in learning performance, as well as increased difficulties smelling food and other substances. And in terms of memory retention, exposed bees fare much worse than non-exposed bees. So, exposing bees to glyphosate in Pimp Hall Nature Reserve will damage the health of the local bee population - the very opposite of what we are attempting to achieve with the proposed wildflower meadow. This makes no sense.
Impact on our long-term food supply:
The glyphosate product Waltham Forest uses is manufactured by Monsanto. This company has a reputation for developing and marketing oversimplified agricultural products, which, although easy to use and initially effective, show a poor scientific grasp of the ecology of the biosphere. The company have consistently shown themselves to be more concerned with profit than with environmental protection, and through the practice of patenting their seeds, have caused untold damage to the livelihoods of thousands of smallholders worldwide – small scale farming is still what 70% of the world’s population relies on.