DŵR CyMRU Welsh Water has been awarded almost £1 million by Welsh Government’s Rural Development Programme to expand its successful PestSmart project which promotes the safe use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
PestSmart is a Welsh Water initiative which encourages people to consider a ‘smarter’, more sustainable approach to weed, pest and disease control that does not impact on people, water or wildlife.
Until now, work on pesticides has focussed on targeted trial areas but the project will now be delivered across Wales and expanded to include domestic pesticide users as well as professional users. The project is likely to be active around late spring or early summer of 2019.
Managing director of Water Services at Welsh Water, Ian Christie said: “Since starting this work in 2014, we have been working in partnership with farmers, land managers and communities in our drinking water catchments to deliver trials and create new ways of working to promote the safe use, storage and disposal of pesticides.
“We hope the evidence this expanded project will bring to dispose of pesticides safely will inform future ways of working for land management in Wales and help us to create a safe approach to pesticide use which will safeguard our environment for years to come.”
At the launch, FUW policy officer Bernard Griffiths said: “This opportunity was a natural extension of previous collaborative projects working with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water. Previous work had included the free hire of a weedwiper for farmers in selected catchments for the sustainable control of rushes.
“Farmers welcomed voluntary opportunities that developed win-win situations for all participants and that the sector valued trusted relationships.”