Council moves to reassure residents after weedkiller concerns

Town hall chiefs have reassured the public after concerns were raised over weed killer.

A picture sent in showing the marks around trees in the park
A picture sent in showing the marks around trees in the park

According to visitors, markings appeared around trees and other areas at Riverside Park, between Laygate Street and Commercial Road, several weeks ago.

One dog owner said she was concerned after her pet became ill.

“I didn’t think much about the stains around the trees when I first saw them,” said Soraya Stevens, 64, of West Holborn, who often walks her 10-year-old Shih Tzu Lola on the land.

“But then later Lola started vomiting and she has been like that now for nearly two weeks – she hasn’t been herself since.”

South Tyneside Council admitted weed spraying had been carried out on the site, which is earmarked for housing under a contested development scheme, but insisted it had not received any reports of pets or other animals becoming unwell as a result.

It said no treatment had been carried out at the park as part of pest control measures.

A council spokesperson said: “The weeds in this area have been treated over recent weeks as part of our regular grounds maintenance programme.

“We would like to reassure people that we follow Government regulations for weed control, with weed treatments carefully administered by fully trained contractors within application guidelines.

“The herbicide we use is also one which has been administered across the Borough for more than five years and is similar to products widely available in DIY outlets and garden centres.

“It is DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) approved and not of risk to humans or animals – where treatment is used in public spaces, safeguards are always in place to prevent any risk to wildlife, pets or the public.”