Council launches its war on weeds

WEED-spraying teams are out in force across the Dispatch district after the wettest summer in 100 years.

“With all the rain that has fallen, it’s no wonder that weeds and vegetation have been growing faster than usual along Nottinghamshire’s roads,” says the chairman of the county council’s highways and transport committee, Coun Richard Jackson (Con).

Figures from the Met Office show that rainfall for June, July and August was 14.25 inches, making it the wettest summer since 1912, when 15.1 inches of rain fell.

Now, amid what appears to be an Indian summer, the county council’s weeding teams have been busy spraying Nottinghamshire’s roads and pavemnent with weed-killer for an unprecedented third time.

The proliferation of so many weeds has posed an extraordinary challenge for the county council, just as it has for families tackling the prolific and unwanted vegetation in their gardens.

In a normal year, just two treatments are sufficient to keep the weeds at bay on roads and pavements.

Coun Jackson said: “We’ve been as frustrated as everyone else at the sight of weeds sprouting up everywhere but conditions have really been against us and it is an uphill task.

“For weed-killer to work effectively, it has to be applied when there is a period of three consecutive dry days. So to have continued spraying during all the torrential rain we had earlier this summer would have been absolutely futile.

“By law, the weed-killer we use is no stronger than what you can buy off the shelf at your local DIY store.

“For it to work properly and safely, it has to be applied when conditions are dry and there is no risk of it being washed away.”

“The highways team is using quad bikes to tackle the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are determined to get topside of the challenge,” said Coun Jackson.