Since its formal launch at the start of this year, the Amenity Standard has been very much welcomed by all sides of both the amenity sector and policy makers.
The Forum is now calling on the UK and national governments to introduce this as a requirement for all operating in the management of weeds, pests and diseases in amenity areas. This would provide the public and all users with the reassurance that the work was being undertaken by trained professionals operating at required standards, committed to continuous professional development, and adopting an integrated approach to address individual situations.
To hold the Amenity Standard, organisations involved in amenity management must be a member of an approved and recognised assurance scheme. Currently there are three such schemes related to different sub sector activities, and two further schemes related to golf and sports surfaces are under development. There is no direct cost to an organisation to hold the Standard other than the cost of being a member of an approved assurance scheme.
Far too often, the high standards of work in amenity are put into question by a few not operating at required levels. This is why the Amenity Standard has been introduced. It demonstrates that the organisation uses the right approach in management of areas and, where plant protection products are used, they are authorised and approved, and applied to ensure safety to the public, the environment and wildlife seeking to create healthy, sustainable amenity spaces fit for purpose. Introducing the Standard as a requirement would allow proper enforcement and provide all involved with confidence in works undertaken.
Professor John Moverley, Independent Chairman of the Amenity Forum said ‘’ The establishment of the Standard is seen very much as a game changing moment for the sector, seeking to provide the public and all involved with the assurance that amenity management operations, wherever undertaken, follow required guidelines for safe us and are appropriate and at the highest standards. Integrated approaches are core to this, making use of all methods available to achieve optimum results.
The Standard has received the backing of all national governments in the UK and is very much aligned to thinking, as the UK and national government are currently reviewing the National Action Plan relating to weed, pest and disease management’’
With the introduction of the Standard as a requirement would come the ability for stricter enforcement. The Forum has now over 100 organisations supporting its work and committed to best practice and continuing to drive up standards at all levels. Everyone operating in the sector should have the same commitment and introducing the Amenity Standard as a requirement is a way to achieve this.
The Forum is holding its annual conference on October 15th, 2020 where the theme will be ‘’Planning for the Future’’ The event will be professionally presented online and an address will be included from a senior government representative. The delegate rate is £50.