East Lothian Council says 'weed killing' is 'balanced and appropriate' despite public concern for wildflowers and bees

East Lothian Council has said their use of herbicides is ‘balanced and appropriate’ after they faced criticism from local residents showing concern for wildflowers and bees.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 6:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 6:58 pm
East Lothian Council has stood by their use of weedkiller despite public concern for wildflowers and bees in the area (Photo: Eddie Walshe).

East Lothian Council confirmed that they applied weedkiller in back lanes in Dunbar recently after residents claimed this was doing ‘damage’ to local wildflowers and bees.

One member of the Facebook group Dunbar Online posted before and after photos of a lane in Dunbar, showing that the weedkiller had killed flowers growing around the edges.

In their caption, they wrote: “What a stupid waste of time and energy” with others voicing concerns for the bee population in the area.

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However, East Lothian Council has stood by their application of the herbicides, saying the council’s role is prevent damage to the pavement by roots of all plants.

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A Council Spokesperson said: “The key consideration about the application of herbicides is balance and appropriate location.

"These (flowers) were growing in an urban site - they are in the back lanes in Dunbar and are in a cobbled edge that forms edging of paths outside homes.

"The council's role here is to prevent damage to the pavement by the roots of all plants - weeds or otherwise - breaking through the tarmac and to keep the paths clear for pedestrians to walk safely.”

East Lothian currently has eight ‘regularly encountered’ species of bumble bees in comparison to 24 species nationally, according to the East Lothian Council Countryside Rangers.

There are more than 200 species of solitary bees in the world.

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