Weed Spraying: Guidance

Our weed spraying programme

All streets within Gloucester City will be weed sprayed where weed growth is evident, following on from that once the weeds have died back, they will be removed. The schedule takes place throughout the summer, due to the nature of the work we are unable to provide residents with an exact schedule for their road and the spraying taking place will be weather permitting (cannot be done when windy or raining).

Residents can remove weeds from outside their property themselves if they wish, but they should not use herbicides on public land as these can be toxic.

Our herbicide policy

Introduction and background

In 1993 the government banned two commonly used residual herbicides, Simazine and Extrasine. These chemicals had been used by contractors for a number of years on hard surfaces and the chemicals were very effective in controlling weed growth on hard surfaces.

As a consequence of banning these chemicals a safer alternative weed treatment was required. A policy was developed to spray a contact spray (spring and summer) and to regularly street clean through sweeping and to supplement when required with the physical removal of weeds.

Contact sprays can only be applied in certain weather conditions and weeds must be actively growing to ensure sufficient absorption of the weed killer. Contact sprays when applied to weeds become inactive when in contact with the soil, reducing the risk of contamination of water supplies.

Current use

The Councils contractor (Ubico) will start the first application of glyphosate at the end of April (depending on weather conditions and weed growth) using trained technicians to carry out the work. A second application will take place later in the summer, in areas where there is further visible weed growth.

The glyphosate herbicide applied is currently ‘Nomix Duplex’ MAPP18350 and in some locations Belchim Crop Protection - Chikara Bayer Round up Provantage. Herbicides are used within strict guidelines and only when weather conditions are suitable for application. It may be applied by a technician utilising a knapsack sprayer or, along main roads where application on foot may not be appropriate a quad bike. In some circumstances a glyphosate based herbicide may also be used to treat existing vegetation prior to replanting an area with wildflower seed. In these circumstances a knapsack or tractor mounted sprayer may be used.

The programme of weed spraying is assisted by the street cleaning schedule, where mechanical sweeping supports manual cleansing throughout the City and ‘deep cleans’ in streets where access is difficult due to parked vehicles.

Any additional treatments will be limited to areas where particular problems are identified by authorising officers or through categorisation of areas of the City according to their weed problems. Where treatments have failed, for whatever reason, areas will be retreated. Where herbicide treatments have failed after a second application, hand weeding methods may be employed. Roads which are swept frequently with a high build quality should only require minimal herbicide treatment. The majority of roads and areas of the City with an average build quality, which are swept frequently should not require more than two applications of glyphosate. Roads and areas of the City with a poor build quality or in need of renovation may require up to three applications of glyphosate.


The City Council has taken a responsible approach to the use of chemical herbicides in weed treatment and the environment by adopting a herbicide policy. The current policy of weed spraying with a proviso for selective spraying in problem areas with regular sweeping and where necessary the physical removal of weeds, aims to achieve a high standard of street cleaning and weed control to improve the appearance of the City.

All pesticide application will be carried out in accordance with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 2006 Code of practice for using plant protection products or any updates to or replacements of this code of practice.