Do you follow Best Practice?
By Bob Voyce
Time and again we are told in articles, official documents and at meetings to 'Follow Best Practice' particularly when a pesticide will be part of an amenity programme of work. But where can you get the information to help plan and carry out work in a way that will meet this standard?
An excellent starting point is the web site www.amenity.org.uk which has been set up specifically for the amenity sector and to provide help for users, advisors and contractors.
The Amenity Forum's website is a dynamic site, updated regularly with product information and news. So it is worth a visit each time you are planning to use pesticides to ensure that you and your organisation are up to date.
From the introductory Home Page you can access a "What's new" section, a "library" with extensive technical information, a completely new "Product Directory", a rapidly growing Advisory Brief section and details of the Amenity Forum.
"What's new?" ensures regular visitors are kept up to date with developments in the sector. Where you need more information, then the library provides more in depth technical information.
Do you remember the Amenity Handbook and how useful it was with all the information in one place? Now technical data from that publication has been updated and eleven topics are all available as individual PDFs in the library.
A completely new Product Directory gives you several search options including by problem, area of use, active ingredient or application and directs you to suitable products. Then you can gain access to product labels and other important data, such as MSDS and Environmental Information Sheets. The individual companies keep their own product information up to date and include new ones as soon as they become available.
The newly introduced 'Amenity Advisory Brief' deals with topical problems, outlines the solutions and directs you to further information, either within the www.amenity.org.uk website or other online information sources. There are already six briefs available including ragwort control and fungicide resistance in turf management. More are planned for the coming season.
Key practical ways for the Protection of Water when using pesticides at amenity sites and essential considerations for Integrated Amenity Management are clearly set out on separate pages.
Still short of information?
Go to the Contact Us page where you will find company details and a general enquiry contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have the information what else could help? The User section has separate pages providing specific guidance on how to achieve 'Best Practice' tailored to your needs, whether you are a customer, contractor or advisor.
The "Amenity Forum" section is aimed to the amenity sector up to date on the issues and developments impacting on our industry. The Amenity Forum pages give the Terms of Reference, list of members and minutes of meetings. This part of the web site does provide an insight into a host of strategic areas such as where the sector is going, future regulatory and training requirements. The Amenity Forum is fast becoming the preferred consultative link to Government on these subjects. If you are a member of one of the organisations listed the opportunity is there for you to contribute to the debate and ensure that any developments are in line with 'Best Practice'.
So if you want to follow or help create 'Best Practice', www.amenity.org.uk is the best place to start.