Belfield Campus Weed Control Plan
UCD is committed in so far as is practicable to providing a campus which has clearly defined overall site management and Biodiversity plans, UCD Estate Services is committed to promoting a healthy, sustainable and living campus for all of our community and further details of some of our current and planned initiatives can be found at the following links: (UCD-Campus-Pollinator-Plan; UCD Estates Sustainability; UCD Green Campus; UCD Environmental Review)
Over the past number of years in particular, there has been a much greater awareness in Ireland of the importance of protecting and enhancing our biodiversity. UCD is fortunate in having as it`s home the 330 acre Belfield Campus, which supports a rich array of flora and fauna including over 50,000 trees, 26 species of birds and over 9km of woodland walks. (UCD-The Natural Environment).
Chemical usage has changed considerably over the past number of years, European Parliament issued as of 21st October 2009 a directive 2009/128/EC – which was a framework for community action to achieve sustainable use of pesticides. This was then transposed into Irish law by Statutory instrument no.155 of 2012, European Communities (sustainable use of Pesticides) Regulations 2012.
This document has been prepared by UCD Estate Services in order to outline the operational procedures that are applied on the Belfield Campus to act as a guide and conform with the sustainable use directive. This document will be subjected to regular review, taking account of campus infrastructural changes and organisational experience.
UCD Estates Services are committed to reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment and to continue the development of our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) with alternative non-chemical approaches. The Estate Services management plan for any use of pesticides form part of the overall campus management plan and will take reasonable precautions to ensure that the use of approved pesticides are kept to an absolute minimum at all times.
Using IPM ensures that valuable flora and fauna are not destroyed as a result of chemical use on site at UCD with cultural and / or engineering controls being put in place to reduce the requirement for the use of chemicals, however there will still need to be a controlled plan of pesticide use here in UCD with particular defined use for the control of Invasive or Noxious weeds that need to be controlled under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011.
As defined in the sustainable use of pesticides directive (Directive 2009/128/EC), ‘integrated pest management’ means careful consideration of all available plant protection methods and subsequent integration of appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms and keep the use of plant protection products and other forms of intervention to levels that are economically and ecologically justified and reduce or minimise risks to human health and the environment. ‘Integrated pest management’ emphasises the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to ecosystems and encourages natural pest control mechanisms. Pesticides will only be used as part of an integrated approach and always used following best practice. If as a last resort pesticide’s need to be used within UCD because other options are ineffective, impractical or excessively costly, the minimum amount of pesticides necessary will be used on the pest / weed to achieve effective control.
When PPP’s do have to be used then the following will apply.
- Encouragement, wherever possible, to use low risk natural herbicides such as Pelargonic or Acetic Acids (Vinegar).
- Use alternative weed control options such as hot water, hot foam or thermal heat systems if suitable.
- Follow best practice if using amenity approved pesticides.
- Be aware of legal requirements
- Adhere to workplace safety requirements and no spray zones.
- Strict adherence to the relevant safety and environmental procedures relating to the preparation, storage, transport and application of herbicides and the maintenance of application equipment.
- Implement relevant operational measures relating to aquatic zones and important habitats/biodiversity issues.
- Match herbicide to vegetation, species and site – e.g. using a broad leaf selective spray rather than glyphosate to control weeds.
- Select application method ie weed wiping, spot treatment with knapsack or using Controlled droplet applicator (CDA)
- Follow formulation, application and calibration rules using the right nozzles to avoid drift etc are all as important as choosing the right active ingredient.
Essentially the professional users employed by UCD should keep the use of pesticides and other forms of intervention to levels that are necessary,
- By choosing the right active ingredient and appropriate rate of active chemical.
- Carrying out reduced doses, reduced application frequency or partial applications (Spot treatment rather than blanket spraying)
- Considering that the level of risk in vegetation is acceptable and they do not increase the risk for development of resistance in populations of harmful organisms.
- Correct timing linked to weed size and weather conditions are essential for good results.
- Apply with the appropriate nozzles, water volume and quality and ensure sprayers are fully calibrated and a suitable forward speed is selected.
|1. Invasive Weeds||Control of invasive weeds defined under the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011.||Follow and adhere to best practice for the management of the particular plant type. ||Precedence-Risk of spread on site and external of site via waterways and soil movement.||Targeted chemical control, Hand weeding where applicable and regular survey of plants.|
|2. Hard Surfaces||Control of vegetation presenting hazard, e.g. algae on hard surface;||Medium level management; Hand weeding, strimming weeds, localised cleaning and use of approved chemical as necessary.||Precedence-Risk of injury to persons||Targeted chemical control, Hand weeding where applicable|
|3. Compacted Stone Surfaces||Control of vegetation in stone surface, e.g. weeds||Medium level management; localised cleaning and use of approved chemicals as necessary.||Medium – poor visual appearance||Targeted chemical control using low risk natural herbicide (Pelargonic or acetic acid).|
|4. Shrub Beds and hedges||Control of unwanted weeds within landscaped areas||Low level management – localised weeding by hand weeding and use of bark mulch to suppress the weed growth, woody unwanted growth may need to be treated with a suitable amenity approved chemical.||Medium – poor visual appearance||Hand weeding, use of bark mulch to suppress weeds, Targeted chemical control where applicable|
|5. Loose Stone within landscaped areas||Control of vegetation in stone surface, e.g. unwanted weeds within landscaped areas||Low level management – localised weeding by hand weeding, woody unwanted growth may need to be treated with a suitable amenity approved chemical.||Low level management – localised weeding by hand weeding, woody unwanted growth may need to be treated with a suitable amenity approved chemical.|
Medium – poor visual appearance
|Hand weeding, Targeted chemical control where applicable|