A new project which aims to rid the streets of Hexham of the weedkiller Glyphosate has been launched.

‘Hexham Hoedown’, which has been launched by Hexham Space for Nature, will see volunteers clean their streets so that Northumberland County Council don’t need to spray Glyphosate.

Council practice has been to selectively spray, where there is weed growth, hardstanding areas of public open space twice a year with Glyphosate, which Hexham Space for Nature group members claim is linked to a number of environmental and health problems.

So far, 18 groups of residents covering 23 streets have signed up to take part, and some groups have already been out with their hoes and brushes.

Signs saying ‘NO SPRAY’ are also appearing to remind County Council sprayers where not to spray in May or early June.

Wendy Breach, initiator and coordinator of the hoedown on behalf of Hexham Space for Nature and Transition Tynedale said: “2021 seems to be a good year to start this project, with many people very keen to meet their neighbours for a social event, socially distanced of course, having endured many months of lockdown and often loneliness.”

Jane Brantom, of Transition Tynedale, said she has gone out with a group to Hextol Terrace: “None of us are garden or wildflower experts but we all learned a bit, had a good time and met new neighbours.”

A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: “This is a great example of the local community working with us and taking pride in their area.

“We’ve been working with Hexham Space for Nature on a number of initiatives involving less cutting and wildflower planting and this is another scheme we’ve been supporting which is proving very popular.”

Transition Tynedale is a group which encourages local projects to tackle global problems.

Contact hexhamnature@gmail.com if you want to find out more or volunteer.