Integrated Weed Management

Our Integrated Weed Management (IWM) Policy template and Reference Guide have been produced in collaboration with the Amenity Forum with support from the Mayor of London.

Whilst the IWM documents were initially developed with parks and green spaces in mind we recognise that weeds respect no boundaries so limiting the audience to just parks managers would miss an opportunity to develop a holistic approach to management of weeds across the public realm. We hope that introducing integrated weed management in parks services will be the first step towards all local authority services adopting the approach. We hope these documents could also be of use to local authorities beyond London; they can be adapted for use by unitary, county, town and parish councils. We also anticipate that the documents will be useful to other managers of public realm such as Transport for London, Network Rail, estate management companies and highway and landscape contractors.

The policy template has been created for Local Authorities and other organisations as a generic policy framework to underpin the development of integrated weed management plans (IWMPs). The use of herbicides to manage weeds is of increasing concern to the public, amid a growing evidence of the harmful health impacts of chemical herbicides and greater awareness of an impending ecological crisis and climate change. The use of herbicides is regulated by the Plant Protection Products (Sustainable Use) Regulations 2012 which aims to reduce “the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and promoting the use of… alternative approaches or techniques such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides.” The UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides establishes a framework for action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides.

The Policy Template is freely available and can be downloaded below:

Integrated Weed Management Policy Template – March 2020

The reference guide has been produced as an interactive pdf document to help landowners and land managers to prepare IWMPs. Users can navigate the guide using the tabs and links to key information and useful resources. The guide covers what weeds are and why in certain circumstances it is necessary to manage them. It begins by asking managers to consider if weeds can be tolerated; recognising that apart from a handful of very invasive non-native species, most ‘weeds’ are actually native wildflowers which can be an important ecological resource in areas devoid of natural habitats.

The guide covers the range of horticultural, mechanical, thermal and biological solutions for managing weeds alongside chemical control. Legislation regulating the use of herbicides requires all users to assess the options for control so that herbicide use is minimised. The guide is designed to help you to consider the options available in the least harmful way to people, water, wildlife and the wider environment. Finally, it describes the process of preparing detailed integrated weed management plans and includes templates for a range of specific landscape uses. The IWMP templates have been produced in Google Documents, which can be accessed on any mobile device for users with a Google Account.  You can view a sample of the reference guide: Integrated Weed Management reference guide – March 2020 SAMPLE

The reference guide requires users to agree to our digital content licencing – terms of use, before downloading.  We ask users to read the terms of use carefully and to complete the application form (both given below). The reference guide and templates are free to supporters to download or else a fee will be applied as specified on the application form. Once your application has been processed you will be given a licence number and password to download the reference guide using the link below.

IWM Licence Application Form

Ref Guide IWM – Terms of Use

To download the Integrated Weed Management Reference Guide please click here.