Camden

This page is for concerns specifically about Camden and what can be done to stop the spraying of weedkillers and savage mowing of public spaces. New postings go at the top.

 

12-7-2019 Camden Gardens is looking terrible

I was told "relaxed mowing" would be considered for Camden Gardens. The result today Scorched Earth! Since a couple of conversations, the mowing has been more frequent and more severe. Why? and the edges that had wildflowers? severely manicured - which I haven't seen in 16 years. So speaking up and drawing attention to something has given the exact opposite effect of what was wanted. Who wanted that, what a waste of money.

Looks like weedkiller has been sprayed on the edge there. That was one corner that did have a few wildflowers left - well, I guess that couldn't be allowed!

-update- happened to go past parks in Islington and Hackney yesterday, both had wild areas - the complete opposite of what is going on here - what's wrong with Camden ?? why are they doing this ??

camden gardens

camden gardens

camden gardens


 

email received 21-5-2019

 

Dear Julie,

 

I am writing to you regarding the environmental concerns you raised. I know that you have received some response already but I hope that this email will address all the concerns you raised in one place.

 

The issues you raised were the current Camden council position with Glyphosate use in the borough; who makes decisions about Camden Gardens and how can volunteers participate in maintenance; what are the future plans for Camden Gardens; and lastly whether Baynes Street Canalside Gardens is ever open to the public.

 

Cllr Singh has stated that he shares your concern about the continued use of Glyphosate in the borough. He will be raising the issue with the relevant Cabinet member to ask if we can follow other authorities to ultimately phase out its use and move to using alternatives.

 

Below are the responses received to each issue raised that have been provided by the relevant council officer:

 

Current position with Glyphosate use in Camden

 

There have been recent debates in the EU Parliament and elsewhere expressing a range of opinions on the use of glyphosate and pesticides more generally. Before coming to market, any chemical for use in weed, pest and disease control has to go through an extensive approval process under EU regulations which considers every aspect of the safety of the product and the risks of using it as well as its effectiveness.

 

Camden is keeping our use of glyphosate under review as a result of these debates and we will reconsider our approach in the light of any future changes to the EU Directive and/or Government guidance. In the meantime, however, we will continue to adhere to current DEFRA and EU guidelines for the essential processes outlined below.

 

Camden’s use of glyphosate is minimal and targeted (we do not broadcast spray at any Camden site) and completed by trained operators from our grounds maintenance contractor (Idverde). Camden currently uses glyphosate to:

 

·        Control weeds on hard standing in parks, estates and on highways

 

·        Treat invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed

 

Camden does not use glyphosate for the control of weeds (except Japanese knotweed) in flower beds, lawns, or nature conservation areas.

 

When treating invasive weeds, treatment is predominantly used to address Japanese knotweed. Camden has a legal responsibility to prevent the spread of Knotweed from our land. There are several treatment processes used to control Japanese knotweed, these include injecting the plant directly with glyphosate, a process that is very effective and also very targeted. Herbicide application is currently a recommended Environment Agency approach to invasive species and glyphosate is included on the Health and Safety Executive approved chemical list.

 

Our current approach to hard surface herbicide application on housing and parks hard standings is in line with DEFRA’s Best Practice Notes for Integrated and Non-Chemical Amenity Hard Surface Weed Control (available at this link). This guidance was the result of a five-year scientific study commissioned by DEFRA, run by East Malling Research and hosted by Kent County Council on the streets of Thanet. It studied amenity use of herbicide, non-herbicide and integrated app­roaches to weed removal.

 

Camden uses where practicable an integrated approach, applying three hard surface herbicide sprays a year. These sprays take place in April, June and September but we may from time to time add, remove or delay a spray depending on the site conditions. This method is used to maintain hard standing infrastructure cost-effectively and to maintain the aesthetics and accessibility of the site. We do however wherever possible design hard standing repairs and improvements to reduce or remove the need for herbicide which is a successful and popular approach.

 

Who makes decisions about Camden Gardens and how can volunteers participate in maintenance

 

The maintenance gets carried out by our contractors Idverde ltd, the gardeners are following contract specifications on shrubs, grass and so on, however the contractors can be instructed to leave or reduce the maintenance to agreed standard areas, so maintenance can be adjust to seasons and encourage wild flowers to grow.

 

Lavinia Menicucci is responsible of the Grounds maintenance in Camden Gardens and is happy to discuss further adjustment with residents who can be contacted via email Lavinia.Menicucci@camden.gov.uk

 

Volunteers can join the Camden Green Gym Team in helping remove green waste, litter picking, sweeping and clearing paths, smoothing gravel and general tidy up.

 

What are the future plans for Camden Gardens?

 

There is no immediate plans to introduce relaxed mowing at the site. We are looking to install a bug hotel which will increase the biodiversity of the green space.

 

In future, to find out any major plans coming up for Camden Gardens you can contact the team by emailing GroundsMaintenance@camden.gov.uk

 

 

Is Baynes Street Canalside Gardens ever open to the public?

 

The Reserve is not open to public at the moment. However, it is available for schools to use - info here. The Green Gym team also organises sessions here from time to time.

 

 

I hope that this has been able to address all of the concerns you raised. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact Councillor Singh or myself.

 

Best regards,

 

Jahnelle.

 

 

Jahnelle Hutton-Parr  
Member Support Officer
Law and Governance
Corporate Services
London Borough of Camden

Telephone:    +442079742407


 

email received 17-5-2019

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Dear Julie,

 

Follow our meeting yesterday at Camden Gardens, I will arrange a meeting with Green gym to discuss further improvement within the Garden and Please let me know what day will suit you better to discuss the matter,  further improvement such as  relaxed mowing, wild flower meadow which will increase the biodiversity of the green space.

 

Finally, I can confirm we are trialling several alternatives to using Glyphosate in Camden’s Green Spaces.  These approaches include designing out need to use glyphosate this is achieved by designing out the cracks and joints in hard standing. Secondly we are trailing the manual control of weeds.

 

Camden’s use of glyphosate

 

There have been recent debates in the EU Parliament and elsewhere expressing a range of opinions on the use of glyphosate and pesticides more generally. Before coming to market, any chemical for use in weed, pest and disease control has to go through an extensive approval process under EU regulations which considers every aspect of the safety of the product and the risks of using it as well as its effectiveness. Camden is keeping our use of glyphosate under review as a result of these debates and we will reconsider our approach in the light of any future changes to the EU Directive and/or Government guidance. In the meantime, however, we will continue to adhere to current DEFRA and EU guidelines for the essential processes outlined below.

 

Camden’s use of glyphosate is minimal and targeted (we do not broadcast spray at any Camden site) and completed by trained operators from our grounds maintenance contractor (idverde). Camden currently uses glyphosate to:

 

•           Control weeds on hard standing in parks, estates and on highways.

•           Treat invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed.

 

Camden does not use glyphosate for the control of weeds (except Japanese knotweed) in flower beds, lawns, or nature conservation areas.

 

When treating invasive weeds, treatment is predominantly used to address Japanese knotweed. Camden has a legal responsibility to prevent the spread of Knotweed from our land. There are several treatment processes used to control Japanese knotweed, these include injecting the plant directly with glyphosate, a process that is very effective and also very targeted. Herbicide application is currently a recommended Environment Agency approach to invasive species and glyphosate is included on the Health and Safety Executive approved chemical list.

 

Our current approach to hard surface herbicide application on housing and parks hard standings is in line with DEFRA’s Best Practice Notes for Integrated and Non-Chemical Amenity Hard Surface Weed Control (available at this link). This guidance was the result of a five-year scientific study commissioned by DEFRA, run by East Malling Research and hosted by Kent County Council on the streets of Thanet. It studied amenity use of herbicide, non-herbicide and integrated app¬roaches to weed removal.

 

Camden uses where practicable an integrated approach, applying three hard surface herbicide sprays a year.   These sprays take place in April, June and September but we may from time to time add, remove or delay a spray depending on the site conditions. This method is used to maintain hard standing infrastructure cost-effectively and to maintain the aesthetics and accessibility of the site. We do however wherever possible design hard standing repairs and improvements to reduce or remove the need for herbicide this is a successful and popular approach.

 

Please let me know what time and day will suit you better and I will be happy to arrange a meeting with Green gym.

 

Kind Regards

 

 

 

--
Lavinia Menicucci
Grounds Maintenance Monitoring Officer

Telephone: 020 7974 3107


 

An email I sent to Camden (parks@camden.gov.uk) on 4-5-2019

"I live near Camden Gardens and walk through it frequently. I love the more natural view of it now. I love wildflowers (as do so many residents) more than manicured beds so delighted to see cow parsley there which I haven’t seen in 16 years living across the road. I do not want to see it mown so much or so closely.

 

There were 2 men working there this week and I spoke to them about it, saying how much more natural and wild I wanted to see it, they suggested I call – but couldn’t tell me who specifically. I’d like to chat with who makes decisions specifically about Camden Gardens.

 

They told me there were big plans for it. What plans? What is happening with Camden Gardens?"

 


 

7-5-2019 from nextdoor

Stop HS2 petition

Dear All This has got lost amongst all the B-word stuff. Please sign and forward to many others. Please sign the following petition to stop HS2 demolition works until the 'notice to proceed is given (now delayed until later this year) - it has already reached 10,000 signatures forcing the government to respond, if we reach 100,000 signatures they must debate in the House of Commons. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/255413?fbclid=IwAR3BRzUhAhAfm_2aYXvIWb7O0_nxBP6rVKyQvi9cbYnDTJFLG_37BnkxRxw Petition: With 'notice to proceed' delayed again, halt all HS2 enabling work immediately. Because HS2 is an unjustifiable project, with terrible management that has not been subject to enough scrutiny, it will not face 'notice to proceed' tests before December. Consequently, HS2 Ltd must be stopped from trying to make it harder to cancel HS2 by maximising expenditure and destruction now. petition.parliament.uk

 


 

3-5-2019 cow parsley in a more natural-looking Camden Gardens (my local park), I hope this continues (I fear it's probably just a blip)

cow parsley camden gardens

4-5-2019  a fellow resident writes

"I also wonder about the top end of yorkway (around the new sainsbury’s Local and under the bridge) which is so polluted but has no trees on the new pavement (despite lots of pictures on the maiden lane development brochures suggesting it would). This could also be something to push for."

I don't know the area well but will check it out.