Speakers at the recent Amenity Weed Control Conference stressed the need to follow 'Best Practice' at every stage of amenity weed control operations. A key message from the speakers was for the client to work in partnership with their contractor and advisor. Only then would they get effective results and value for money.
Jo Kennedy from the Environment Agency reviewed the current legislation and reviewed the issues of water contamination related to amenity pesticide use. The National Association of Agricultural Contractors, Chairman, Richard Minton spelt out the requirements for effective contract management to ensure effective results and best value for the customer.
Paul Singleton, BASIS introduced the 'Amenity Assured' scheme, a new initiative prepared by NPTC, NAAC and BASIS. The scheme, supported by the Amenity Forum, Environment Agency, Local Government Association and PSD is aimed at registering spraying contractors who meet the highest standard of work and client satisfaction.
Adrian Dixon, Pesticide Safety Directorate explained the developments on the European front with new directives and how these link to the UK Pesticide Strategy Plan.
In the afternoon Neil Hipps, East Malling Research summarised Interreg IIIC, a European project to assess weed control on hard surfaces. Finally Shaun Faulkner, Brent Council presented a practical case study of award winning parks management in a large local authority.
Some130 delegates with over 100 representing local authorities and their contractors attended this second Amenity Conference, sponsored by the PSD and supported by the Local Government Association.
Jon Allbutt the Chairman of the Amenity Forum said 'the event follows on from last year's Edgbaston Conference. It is vital that we grip the issue of pesticide use in public spaces to bring water contamination firmly under control. The conference was very informative for the customer supplier and contractor alike and was a pleasure to chair. The Amenity Forum is continuously encouraging users to work in partnership from beginning to end of a contract'
The Amenity Forum plans to hold future conferences during 2008 to drive home the messages on the need to follow the statutory Code of Practice and other legislation requirements to keep the amenity sector up to date on all 'Best Practice' measures.
For further Information
Mr. Jon Allbutt, Chairman, Amenity Forum 01959 575575
Mr. Bob Joice, Secretary, Amenity Forum 01924 495584
Website amenity .org.uk
The Amenity forum is a national representative body of amenity users and other interested parties that aims to encourage the highest standard possible for advice and the application of pesticides and protect the interests of users of pesticides in the amenity sector. It consults with Government and looks to identify, review and resolve specific issues on the use of pesticides, management practices and training standards. It provides access to a wide range of practical advice. Further information is available on the web site www.amenity.org.uk
The UK Government also attaches great importance to promoting best practice. Defra's national strategy for pesticides identifies the need for improving practice in the amenity sector as a key goal. Government and industry representatives are working together on an 'action plan' to develop a range of measures that will achieve this.
The Code of Practice and leaflets are available from:
Defra Publications, Admail 6000, London SW1A 2XX
The code and leaflets are also available on the PSD website: www.pesticides.gov.uk