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‘Toxic Weedkiller use on the rise despite pledge to cut’

April 2023

‘Toxic weedkiller which threatens bee colonies & has been linked with cases of cancer has hit a 6year high despite a council commitment to cut down.


Harm to public health & biodiversity posed by this chemical have been highlighted in the council since 2015 after WHO named glyphosate a probable carcinogen .
Lawsuits against glyphosate have found it was a significant factor in some cancer patients diagnosis with billions paid out to claimants.’


‘Many councils like Glastonbury , Hammersmith & Fulham decided to apply the precautionary principle and successfully use safe alternatives to treat  weeds prioritising health and the environment.’


‘Whilst many communities are happy with efforts to collect litter ,planting trees / wildflowers to support the environment - The uncomfortable truth is we need to stop turning a blind eye , this toxic chemical is still being allowed by us to continue  poisoning our trees,bees, biodiversity and planet.’


‘There are so many environmental issues that can be overwhelming and out of our control -this is one with a very simple solution and of utmost importance.’

‘Only a very foolish species would poison its own habitat …’



June 2022

‘Residents from a village on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Scotland, are paving the way for the chemical-free removal of weeds in communities’


‘Since going Pesticide-free,  residents have reported an 80% increase in biodiversity. They have also been chosen by the Wildlife Trust as a case study of a community helping to support the reverse of insect decline.’


‘Additionally, parents with children who have respiratory health conditions have also noticed an improvement in their child’s health since swapping to safe alternatives. 


One parent said: “My child used to get very unwell when weedkiller was sprayed and now that I know there are no chemicals sprayed around my house, I’m so relieved about this.’


'Live more Sustainably'

JUNO magazine 

August  2022

‘Positive change started with a single request not to spray outside 1 house , then the whole street of 20 houses soon followed .

‘Residents decided they would rather remove manually than be exposed to harmful chemical’

‘It almost seems too simple but it's small acts like these that can make us take ownership of our health and stop continuing to poison our trees , waterways & pollute our air’

Eco News

‘Only a very foolish species would poison its own habitat’

July 2022


‘Balerno take action on the pavements’

November 2021

‘The UN has 17 Sustainable Goals which must be addressed urgently in order to mitigate climate change, effect climate justice and restore a healthy environment.  Many of these UN goals are supported by having a Pesticide Free community ‘


‘We at Pesticide Free Balerno hope that being able to spark a passion for protecting biodiversity and the environment with young generations, will open up conversation and instil confidence in their abilities for proactive change. Humans and especially large companies, such as the producers and even users of pesticides, are “helping” with natural degradation and climate change.’

‘The Empower Hour’  (Episode3 53mins)

'Moms Across America'

October 2021


‘With so many people concerned about getting sick, this show focuses on what we can do to boost our immune system naturally.’


‘They could have been very angry and resentful that these chemicals especially glyphosate pesticide on their sidewalks and their streets but instead they created an opportunity to have community connection all these people working together and to have these young people look how many young environmentalists’

-Zen HoneyCutt Moms Across America Director 

'Hot Foam Safe Environmental Weed Control'

July 2021

'Foamstream is being trialed for weed control in selected areas of Balerno this year.'

'All areas treated are immediately safe for people and animals to be around. Previously these areas would have had harmful chemicals applied.'

'With public support for this community initiative growing daily, City of Edinburgh's Parks and Greenspaces is pushing forward with this important move prioritising health.'

'Edinburgh could be the next city to become Pesticide Free!'

‘Every community can become Pesticide Free ‘

Wildlife Trusts

November 2020

Pesticide Free Balerno teamed up with @thewildlifetrusts to make a video on how Every community can become Pesticide Free sharing our journey .


A big THANK YOU to the @thewildlifetrusts for the fantastic exposure and opportunity. And of course a big thank you to everyone involved in the video .

'Pesticides are a no no in Balerno - and elsewhere'

August 2020

'Residents in Cherrytree Balerno sucessfully petitioned the council earlier this year to stop using glyphosate in their area because of the health risks.'

'Now they have literally taken matters into their own hands by starting up Volunteer Weeding Groups who remove the weeds manually or individually outside their own property or street to help the council, along with  crucial public support to effect environmental change and health support.'

- Phyllis Stephen

'Community-driven Action'

July 2020

'The community initiative was to raise awareness in the village about the harmful use of pesticides and ask the Council to take a precautionary approach and support safe, environmentally friendly alternatives for weed management in the village.'


'There is now a much higher level of weed acceptance within the community and sightings of many more insects – particularly butterflies and bees.'

'Groups and individuals from across the community are participating.'

'Over 80% of residents report seeing more bees and butterflies and many other kinds of insects.'

‘Community campaign persuades Edinburgh council to halt use of chemical Weedkiller’

July 2020

'Council chiefs have agreed to stop using a controversial weedkiller in the Balerno area this summer after a passionate appeal from the community.'

'Campaigners from Pesticide-free Balerno told councillors how local people felt health issues which they and their pets had experienced were related to the spraying of glyphosate by the council.'

- Ian Swanson

Petition calling on Council to cease using pesticides
Edinburgh Evening News
July 2020

'Following successful lobbying efforts by local group Pesticide Free Balerno earlier this year, councillors agreed to stop using glyphosate in the Balerno area this summer.

In exchange, residents have had to take on the task of keeping weeds down themselves.'

'Annie MacDonald, a member of Pesticide Free Balerno, said: “We were relieved that the council listened to community health concerns in Balerno, safeguarding those with vulnerable immune and respiratory health issues like asthma, which is especially crucial now more than ever."'

- Noa Hoffman

‘Group leads campaign to make Edinburgh Pesticide Free’
The National
July 2020

'A campaigh to make Edinburgh a pesticide-free city is being led by the people of Balerno, the suburb to the west of the capital.'

'The Pesticide Free Balerno campaign is spearheading localised attempts to stop the use of pesticides by carrying out weeding across its area to ensure that Edinburgh City Council doesn’t have to use glyphosates.'

'Joining in the campaign is Pesticide Free Portobello on the other side of the city, while a group has been suggested in Gorgie.'

- Martin Hannah

'Go Pesticide Free & Protect Our Communities Health’ 
Konnect Magazines 
May 2020

'The village of Balerno has been made a trial pesticide-free are this year by Edinburgh City Council.'

'Many chemicals sold for gardening can have harmful effects on ourselves, our pets, neighbours, and those who walk by our homes. '

'By using manual weeding and safe alternatives there is no need to resort to harmful chemicals and any risk and potential harm to ourselves and others is avoided.'

'Campaign Success for Pesticide-Free Balerno'
Pesticide Action Network UK
April 2020

'On a frosty morning I met campaigners in their home in Balerno, a beautiful suburb on the outskirts of Edinburgh. We all piled onto the bus on our way to Edinburgh City Council to present our deputation to the Transport and Environment committee for a pesticide-free Balerno.'

'It wasn’t easy at first, with Balerno being one of the areas of Edinburgh with the most complaints about ‘weeds’. But slowly, over time Pesticide-Free Balerno campaigners managed to win hearts and minds.'

- Hannah Conway

‘Volunteers take on the job of weeding Edinburgh streets ‘
Edinburgh Evening News 
March 2020

'Balerno could set trend for the whole city'

'The Balerno deputation told the council's transport and environment committee in February that some people had suffered respiratory problems or a burning sensation when breathing which they believed was linked to the spraying, while pets had experienced irritated paws among other problems.'

'Volunteers have been out weeding the streets and pavements of Balerno after their campaign persuaded the city council to stop using a potentially dangerous chemical to do the job.'

- Ian Swanson

‘Residents of Cherry Tree, Balerno, successfully petitioned Edinburgh City Council to stop using pesticides to treat weeds.’
Konect Magazines
October 2019

'Last summer, the residents of Cherry Tree, Balerno, successfully petitioned Edinburgh City Council to stop using pesticides to treat weeds. With overwhelming support, Cherry Tree became pesticide -free!'


'Pesticide-Free Balerno has now been formed to raise awareness in the community and help support and widen the pesticide-free area.'

'Councils would now benefit hugely from our voiced community support to enable this transition.'

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