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A Rowallane Councillor is lobbying the Department of Infrastructure to reduce its use of herbicides containing glyphosate, both across the Newry, Mourne and Down District, and beyond. 

 Cllr Patrick Brown had previously brought a successful motion around reducing Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s use of herbicides containing glyphosate but thinks a multi-agency approach is needed as the Department for Infrastructure are still using the chemicals.

Cllr Brown said "It has been brought to my attention that although Council is making steps to address this, the Department of Infrastructure continues to spray pavements and paths that border council property with glyphosate herbicides.”

 “Although I was pleased to see this Council (and others such as Derry and Strabane) commit to reduce the use of glyphosate, it will only be effective if a multi-agency approach is established, and we work cohesively on this.” 

Cllr Patrick Brown

Cllr Brown continued: “This also applies to the approach taken to wildflowers and protecting our local biodiversity. Concerns have been raised that alongside spraying areas that border Council property, the Department are also mowing grass in Newcastle, stripping the verges of dandelions, wood anemones, lesser celandine, bluebells, and many other woodland ground cover plants. Local residents feel strongly that they would like these areas to be left alone; they are not used by pedestrians and the vegetation that grows here are a vital part of our ecosystem.” 

 Cllr Brown concluded: “It is so important to the local community that any contractors carrying out work appreciate the importance of the biodiversity in the area. I feel that through better coordination and communication between the Department, Council, and community stakeholders, we can ensure that the roads and footways meet the required safety standards, while also protecting our local environment. I hope that the Department are willing to partner with Council on this and moving forward we address this with a collaborative approach.” 

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