Sustainable urban weed management

This is a 5 year Defra funded research project undertaken in collaboration with East Malling Research, Kent County Council, Jacobs (as Kent Highway Services) and the Environment Agency to develop sustainable methods of controlling weeds in urban situations. Currently the vast majority of pesticides used by local authorities are herbicides and, of the total used, 9% is applied to roads and 34% to other hard surfaces. The UK is poorly positioned to reduce the use of pesticides in these situations and adopt more sustainable methods of control such as thermal and mechanical techniques. This contrasts with the situation in Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany where a strong public and political interest for reducing the use of herbicides to control weeds in urban amenity areas exists and very strict regulations and/or bans are imposed. This project will seek to investigate the sustainability of alternative weed control methods. It will assess their effectiveness and undertake an economic and environmental cost benefit analysis in order to compare performance with each other and with the current herbicide approach.


Dr Doug Warner


Download the best
practice guide

Visit Kent County Council's weed control web page.


University of Hertfordshire
University of Hertfordshire, 2017.