Use of pesticides at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
17 July 2013
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is committed to conserving biodiversity, and our practical management of pests and diseases across Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place reflects this.
The emphasis is on using non-chemical cultural, physical and biological methods of control, such as pruning, removal of bugs and scale with paintbrushes and alcohol, and use of predatory insects such as the green lace wing (Chrysoperla).
Under the Heritage Act 1983 and as a World Heritage Site, we have a statutory duty and responsibility to protect and develop our Living Collection of plants, some of which are endangered species and several of which are new to science. This means that we occasionally use pesticides and, when we do, we are targeted in their application. Use of pesticides tends to be restricted to glasshouses, where the warm conditions can favour the development of pests and diseases. We use very few pesticides in outside areas, and those chemicals used outside tend to be herbicides, which are not persistent in the environment, specifically target vegetation (in this case usually pernicious weeds) and are not harmful to wildlife or people.
In cases where a Statutory Notice (legal order) has been issued for the eradication or control of a known quarantine pest or disease, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will follow the guidance of the government agency which is the competent authority, who will specify the action to be taken.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew prioritises the wellbeing of its visitors and staff, plant collections and wildlife.
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