Extinction Rebellion protesters swarmed outside St Albans City and District Council offices on Saturday, August 8, to protest the use of a deadly weed killer.
Over 30 protesters, many dressed in bee costumes, gathered outside the Civic Centre on St Peter’s Street to demand an immediate ban on the use of glyphosate.
They are calling for the ban over fears that glyphosate is extremely toxic, killing both plants and insects.
One St Albans resident, Shirley Ferrie, said the insects being killed are necessary to pollinate food crops.
She said: “We can’t allow this practice to continue. Living without glyphosate may mean living with a few more weeds. But insects need wildflowers – and we need insects to pollinate our food crops.”
Clare Harvey, also from St Albans, said bees are crucial to human survival and must be protected.
She said: “Without bees, human existence is threatened. Put simply, if we want to live, bees must be allowed to thrive.”
Extinction Rebellion have petitioned St Albans City & District Council to ban the use of glyphosate and hope that it will reach 500 signatures and be discussed at the next full council meeting.
A statement from the Council said: “St Albans City and District Council’s contractor uses glyphosate to spot treat weed in parks, green spaces, housing sites, cemeteries and a number of other areas managed on behalf of partner organisations.
“To completely move away from the use of chemical weed treatments and maintain the same level of weed clearance would increase costs by over £100,000 per year.
“The council is exploring options to move away from glyphosate including considering a reduced programme of weeding.”
An academic study conducted in Thanet in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire recommended an integrated approach with chemical treatments used only where needed.
Read the study at emr.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/BPWeeds2015web1.pdf.
The petition can be found online at stalbans.gov.uk/petitions.