Why haven’t Sheffield City Council banned Glyphosate yet?

This is the question lots of people have been asking me recently, especially on the journey to London for the Big One. To see why this is important please see Sheffield City Council moves to reduce Glyphosate and Sheffield Council debate Glyphosate.


Whatever the result of the local election campaigners for nature need to up our game and get this back up the agenda again. If you would like to join a Whats App group to organise events and lobby Councillors please get in touch. Other Councils have had more success with this-see where Glyphosate is banned here.

Dawn from Totley recently commented, “Spraying all over my estate. Seems to have happened gradually but now all edges and lamposts have big yellow patches. NO notification to warn people when this was sprayed so dogs, wildlife, children…all at risk. When the council seem to hardly exist at the moment and so much is neglected they still find staff time to do this unnecessary and harmful action!”

The situation at the Council is complicated because this issue falls under the auspices of several different committees. The participants of these committees are all about to change following the election. We need to make a concerted effort to push these committees for more action after the election.

Green Councillors succeeded in getting the council to declare a Nature Emergency; this includes reducing the use of the harmful weed-killer glyphosate, with the Council now running trials to go Glyphosate-free. The trial in the Brincliffe area has been very successful, with good support from residents. Sheffield Liberal Democrats have supported banning glyphosate in the past but I can’t find any mention of it on their new website. Nor is it mentioned on Sheffield Labour Councillors website.

When Green Councillor Alison Teal was Chair of the Parks Committee she managed to secure a commitment from the Council to stop using Glyphosate in Parks.

Green Councillor Bernard Little recently enquired on progress from Officers. This was the reply.

I am writing to you regarding your recent email to Janet Sharpe about Glyphosate usage on Housing land, Janet has asked if I could respond to your questions.

Following the Nature Emergency that was declared in 2021 Sheffield City Council gave a commitment to reduce its usage of Glyphosate, unfortunately a complete ban was not a viable option at that time due to a number of different factors including cost, appearance, and limited suitable alternatives. I have attached a briefing note from 2021 which explains in more detail what was proposed in the report that went to Cabinet in late 2021 and this outlines the approach that was then agreed to be taken.

You will see it includes information for all services across SCC, not just Housing and Neighbourhoods, but it explains what was agreed for Housing land as this required a different approach to the City’s parks for example. As you will be aware Parks and Public Realm currently carry out open space management on our behalf as part of a Service Level Agreement. As part of the Glyphosate reduction strategy the intention is to carry out trials across the city on alternative methods and different approaches bearing in mind that the majority of housing land is within close proximity to flats and houses and the impact on residents needs to be factored in. This will help inform what may work best in particular areas and will ultimately ensure we are further reducing the amount of Glyphosate being used across the city.

There was a number of trials last year and these will be expanded further this year. I have a meeting with Parks in a few weeks’ time where we will be identifying further sites on Housing Land where Glyphosate will cease to be used and the impact monitored.

I am happy to keep you up to date with this and please come back to me if you have any further questions or you would like to discuss anything in more detail.


Service Manager

Estates and Environmental Services Team

Housing and Neighbourhoods

Here is a link to the attachment referred to in the letter.


The use of Glyphosate on invasive species like Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed is likely to continue. But we should be able to persuade the council to stop spraying on housing estates (Housing Policy Committee), road and pavements (Waste & Street Scene Policy Committee) and in school grounds (Education, Children and Families Policy Committee) as soon as possible. They have declared a Nature Emergency and need to start acting appropriately.

If you have further information please get in touch.

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