The Amenity Forum has organised a number of free updating workshops over the first few months of 2014 to address important changes relating to weed, pest and disease control and provide opportunity to discuss fully the implications.
Some six events took place in England hosted by members of the Forum and attracted excellent attendances across the venues. The event in Scotland took place in Edinburgh and was organised in conjunction with the Scottish Government office and SRUC.
This was extremely well attended. It was the first time that the Forum had organised an event in Scotland but plans are now in hand to further increase activity in future. Later in the year, it is planned to hold events in Northern Ireland and Wales.
Each event opened with an update on recent policy changes provided by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate. This was followed by a presentation from Professor John Moverley, Chairman of the Forum, who looked at the specific practical implications of policy changes and also other challenges impacting on the sector.
The Forum has recently issued a document setting out the key Golden Rules for weed, pest and disease control, available at www.amenityforum.co.uk
Paul Singleton, Chairman of the Forum's Education & Skills Committee identified training requirements, both essential and strongly recommended.
He also gave detail on the Amenity Assured standard and the importance of everyone operating at such a level. The final presentation was given by the hosting organisation for each event providing a personal perspective on the way ahead.
Professor John Moverley said ''the Amenity Forum is the national voluntary initiative seeking to promote best practice in our sector. It is important that industry can fully demonstrate its ability to regulate itself and ensure the highest standards.
We have made substantial progress but more remains to be done and it is vital that everyone involved in this important sector are fully up to date with changes and implications.
This is why we ran these free updating events as part of our ongoing awareness activities'' The Forum's plans for its annual sector conference are well advanced and indeed bookings are already being taken.
The conference and associated exhibition area has fast become a must attend event for all involved in weed, pest and disease control in the amenity sector.
It will be held, as in 2013, at Leicester City Football Club on Octobber 16th and details of the programme are available on the Forum website.
This year's programme includes presentations looking at how recent changes are impacting across Europe as well as, of course, covering all the hot topics and challenges facing the sector.