Year-long trial set to weed out an eyesore

Weeds are terribly overgrown in areas of Morecambe including Balmoral Road.
Weeds are terribly overgrown in areas of Morecambe including Balmoral Road.
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Lancaster City Council and Lancaster University are joining forces to wage a war on weeds.

A year-long pilot study has just started trialling different methods of weed control on problematic sites in the Morecambe and Heysham area.

The aim is to see what methods work best with a view to better tackling and reducing weeds across the district in future years.

The areas to initially be included in the trial are:

*Craiglands Avenue: Do nothing approach as a control site;

*Norton Road: Chemical approach – quad bikes 
spraying glyphosate solution;

*Balmoral Road: Mechanical approach – street sweepers will remove weeds along with litter;

*Ellesmere Road: Manual labour – weed pulling;

*Lonsdale Avenue: Diluted vinegar;

*Walton Avenue: Hot water treatment.

The trial does not affect the council’s regular weed spraying which has taken place across the district with another spray taking place soon.

Coun Brendan Hughes, Cabinet member with responsibility for Environmental Services, said: “The council knows from the feedback it receives from residents that weeds continue to be a source of frustration.

“No one wants to see our highways and byways covered with weeds and the council is keen to find a solution that offers the best solution to controlling their growth, taking into account the resources it has to hand. Weed spraying is the traditional method the council uses but it’s not perfect – factors such as rain, wind and the strength of chemical used all have a bearing on its effectiveness.

“That’s why we’ve teamed up with Lancaster University to look at whether different types of weed control make a noticeable difference.

Maya Mahmood from Lancaster University, who is working on the research project, said: “In-depth research was conducted before the trialling commenced.

“The manual approach on Ellesmere Road aims to show the importance of civic values by helping as a community to deal with street weeds.”

The council will provide equipment and pick up bags of weeds at the end of the day for anyone who wants to help. Email publicrealm@lancaster.gov.uk.