An analysis of the regulations of herbicide use for weed control in non-agricultural/urban amenity areas, including actual pesticide use, was carried out as a joint survey of seven European countries: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom. Herbicides constitute the major part of the pesticides used in urban amenity areas. Herbicide use on hard surfaces is the largest in terms of volume and potential contamination of surface and groundwater. The aim of the study was to investigate the differences in political interest and public debate on the 'use of pesticides in public urban amenity areas', regulations within each country at national, regional and local levels, possible use of alternative weed control methods and the amounts of pesticides used on urban amenity areas. A comparative analysis revealed major differences in political interest, regulations and availability of statistics on pesticide use. Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Germany have, or have had, a strong public and political interest for reducing the use of herbicides to control weeds in urban amenity areas and also have very strict regulations. The UK is currently undergoing a period of increasing awareness and strengthening regulation, while Latvia and Finland do not have specific regulations for weed control in urban amenity areas or on hard surfaces. Statistics on pesticide/herbicide use on urban amenity areas were only available in Denmark and the Netherlands. Developing this kind of information base reveals the differences in herbicide use, regulations and policies in European countries and may enhance the transfer of knowledge on sustainable weed control across countries.
- nonchemical weed-control
- hard surfaces