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MAKE GUILDFORD PESTICIDE FREE – SIGN THE PETITION BELOW

Please support us, sign this petition (click here), share it with your friends and help make our town pesticide free.

Every year, our pavements, streets, parks, playgrounds and other open spaces in Guildford are sprayed with pesticides. In particular, glyphosate is used across the borough on a regular basis. Inevitably, we as Guildford residents come into contact with these pesticides, as do our children, pets and local wildlife.

Pesticides (including glyphosate) have been linked to an array of health problems, from neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to autism in children. Vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women and the elderly are most at risk of being affected.

As well as damaging human health, pesticides harm urban biodiversity. Pesticides are key contributors to the dramatic reductions in insects such as bees and other pollinators. Glyphosate has been shown to affect bees’ ability to navigate, their sleep, larval development and immunity to deadly infections (1). Glyphosate also kills flowering plants that bees and other insects rely on. This reduction in pollinators has far-reaching consequences for both wildlife and people.

Pesticides contaminate our water supply and harm aquatic life. They also poison our soils and harm soil invertebrates such as worms (2).

Urban pesticide use is unnecessary. Many towns and cities around the world have banned them (3). Pesticides are banned in all green public spaces across the whole of France. Copenhagen and Seattle manage their public spaces without pesticides. Councils across the UK are showing it can be done too with over 60 councils now implementing programs to phase out their use. Locally, Waverley borough, Petersfield and Chichester have all committed to phase out pesticides whilst trialling alternatives.

Well tested, cost effective and safe non-chemical alternatives to pesticides exist and are already being used in other towns locally (4). Using alternatives, or simply leaving some weeds in place to flower (where they do not cause a hazard) would have a positive impact on biodiversity and human health in Guildford.

We are asking Guildford Borough Council to phase out the use of pesticides, including glyphosate, in Guildford.

Further Information:

1. Pesticides are particularly harmful to bees, studies show.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/24/monsanto-weedkiller-harms-bees-research-finds


2. Vital soil organisms being harmed by pesticides
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2021.643847/full

3. Countries that have banned Glyphosate
https://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/toxic-tort-law/monsanto-roundup-lawsuit/where-is-glyphosate-banned-/

4. Alternative Weed control solutions
https://www.pan-uk.org/alternatives-to-herbicides-a-new-guide/

Local Wildlife and Butterfly Identification

The Rosamund Community Garden organised an afternoon of wildflower and butterfly identification training amongst the wild meadows of their site last week. Led by Gilliam Elsom, a very knowledgeable local amateur botanist, and with the help of Pewley Down Vineyard, we were able to identify a number of grass and sedge species, chalk meadow flowers and orchids as well as butterflies, caterpillars and a variety of other insects and their hosting plants. This beautiful space packed with micro-ecosystems made for a very educational and successful event.

Pewley Down Fields Saved By Local Community

We have received the very welcome news below that the community group has managed to secure the land of New Warren Farm next to Pewley Down in order to protect it from development. 

Announcement from the Saving Pewley Down Fields team: 

The Saving Pewley Down Fields team are absolutely delighted by the fantastic result of the recent auction for the fields.  Thanks to the incredible generosity of local people, who were quick to pledge substantial amounts to give us a war chest for the auction, we managed to put in the highest offer and this has been accepted by the vendor. 

The bidding was very intense and went down to the wire with determined bidders, including developers, driving up the price of the fields. In the end, we have had to offer considerably over the guide price, in order to secure them.   

Within the next few days, we will be contacting all our pledgers, and giving them documentation from Surrey Wildlife Trust which will set out the structure of the purchase and how to convert a pledge into a donation. 

Because of the high selling price, we will need all our pledgers to donate in order to complete the purchase and ensure the future of the fields.   

Since the announcement of the win there has been an outpouring of delight and more offers of donations which has been very moving to see.   We are delighted to announce that people can donate towards the purchase and future upkeep of the fields through Surrey Wildlife Trust’s online platform via a dedicated page on the Surrey Wildlife Trust’s website: www.surreywildlifetrust.org/new-warren-farm-appeal.

We are all incredibly grateful for the support we received and are amazed at what our community has been able to achieve in such a short space of time, working closely with our lead donor, Julia Stephenson whoco-owns the adjacent Surrey Wildlife Trust-managed Rosamund Meadow, the Surrey Wildlife Trust and Holy Trinity Pewley Down School. And we are grateful for the help from the Guildford Dragon who helped publicise the campaign.

We are now confident that this beautiful countryside will be protected in perpetuity from development, and we will be able to create an area that nurtures wildlife, offers environmental education opportunities and provides additional amenity space for the people of Guildford.

If you you’d like further information, you can email the group at pewleydownfields@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page: Saving Pewley Down Fields and website www.pewleydownfields.squarespace.com