Some concern has been raised about the use of pesticides when carrying out the above work, in response to this concern SCC have advised of the following:
We are currently undertaking treatment of bracken as part of a wider scheme to conserve and enhance wildlife habitats on the site. Bracken can become invasive and damaging to wildlife and archaeology if not managed and can impact on people’s ability to access and enjoy the site.
The bracken is treated with a herbicide called Asulox which is a widely used herbicide for this purpose. Use of pesticides is heavily regulated to ensure their safe use and application.
We take the safety of site users, staff and contractors very seriously and have a number of measures in place, including:
- We employ specialist contractors to undertake the work, who are experienced in the safe use of this herbicide;
- Consents are in place from Natural England and the Environment Agency;
- We provide advance warning of where spraying will take place;
- When contractors are active on site, further signs are put up on access points to the affected area to alert people to the fact that spraying is taking place and requesting that dogs be kept on leads (as contractors are operating);
- Contractors remain on site to advise site users following application.
These safety measures are above industry standards and in line with action taken on public sites across the country. Note that when applied on site, Asulox is in a much-diluted form.