Ban all pesticides in UK gardens to save bees and insects, says expert


A leading insect expert has called for a UK-wide ban on the use of pesticides in gardens and urban areas to protect bees, wildlife and human health.

Dave Goulson, a professor of biology at the University of Sussex, said outlawing chemical spraying in the country’s 22m private gardens, along with road verges, parks and other green spaces, could slow insect decline by creating a network of nature-friendly habitats where insects can recover.

In a petition launched on Thursday, Goulson urged the government to follow the example of France, which banned all use of synthetic pesticides in public spaces in 2017, and banned garden use from 2019. The campaign has been backed by the RSPB, Parkinson’s UK, the Soil Association and other environmental groups.

“The use of pesticides in farming is the subject of big debate. You can make a pretty strong argument that we probably do need pesticides if we’re going to feed everybody. But we don’t need them in our gardens. There’s no economic case for that at all,” Goulson said. “If we link up private gardens with flower-filled road verges and roundabouts, city parks, cemeteries and so on, that’s potentially a network of insect-friendly habitats. It would be a huge step in the right direction.”

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~sThe Guardian, 5 August 2021