Get rid of weeds through Integrated Weed Management (IWM) which incorporates a variety of weed control methods (including herbicide) into a combined,environmentally sound strategy.



Helping you towards a more sustainable Weed & Pest Management strategy that is compliant with current legislation, improves your carbon footprint and meets your biodiversity goals.

Why IWM is important

We all like to live in an aesthetically pleasing Environment, no litter, pretty flowers no weeds on our paths to cause trip hazards or other safety issues, achieving this with ever squeezed budgets plus public perception is a difficult task for any land manager or large local Authority.

  • What are our, and the general public’s perception of weeds on our pavements and streets?
  • What is an accepted level of weed growth?
  • How do you want to control the weeds?
  • What is your budget?

These are some of the important questions to ask before we look at what methods we can ultimately use and implement for an integrated weed and pest management plan.

Before we start, in our opinion an integrated approach to weed control does not mean removing  herbicide treatments from the current weed control namely Glyphosate, this product is proven, cost effective and safe. IWM/IPM is about reducing the reliance on a product, what can we do or use to reduce the amount used, be that biological or mechanical methods for instance.


What is IWM?

Integrated Weed Management (IWM) or Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for amenity areas is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques, such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties in horticulture and agriculture. And all pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimises risks to human health, beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment.

Reducing the reliance on herbicide alone can help prevent plant resistance to overused herbicides, which has become evident in some select weed species worldwide. But this does not mean removing herbicide treatments from the current weed control namely Glyphosate. This product is proven, cost effective and safe. IWM/IPM is about reducing the reliance on a product and what we can do to reduce the amount used, by adopting a variety of control methods.


what are the benefits of IWM?

IWM is ideal for County and District Councils, Housing Associations and property management, as this approach uses minimal herbicide application by targeting it more precisely in combination with other non-herbicide management systems. It is especially beneficial for amenity weed control on unwanted vegetation along highways, roadside verges, roundabouts, paths and green spaces on residential sites. The main benefits include:

  • Minimised chemical usage with targeted herbicide treatment.
  • Integrated ‘sweeping’ regimes with herbicide applications.
  • Reduces risks associated with herbicide use, storage, handling and disposal.
  • Reduced reliance on mowing regimes by creating wildflower verges.
  • A more sustainable option to weed management.


Wildflower verge on highway

iwm methods of control 

BIOLOGICAL Biological control methods have been supported by research from the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and has taken shape by finding, safety testing, and field experimenting with predatory species targeted at controlling specific weeds. These can be extremely effective, such as deploying weevils for the control of the aquatic weed species Azolla and Floating pennywort.

MECHANICAL methods such as Hand-Pulling, Cutting, Cultivation and Excavation is preferable over methods using chemicals, and more suitable for some species.

CHEMICAL usage will remain a highly effective method of control, but reducing usage by adopting methods such as Controlled Droplet Application (CDA) should be part of an IWM strategy.

CULTURAL practices can be modified to achieve longer-term weed control such as planting wildflower verges.

PREVENTION Biosecurity protocols are a primary practice to prevent the spread of invasive weeds. Simple checks such as ‘stop-clean-dry’ in aquatic and riparian situations will help prevent the public and contractors moving propagules of plants between sites. Adhering to clean site and working activities when working on affected sites and ensuing proper decontamination of plant, equipment, and PPE. Monitoring and surveying for invasive weed presence ahead of change of land use programmes is recommended.


setting expectations

When adopting an IWM strategy, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Amenity weed control comes with a degree of expectations. Some areas may be more weedy than in previous years due to the alternative method(s) used, but with the right communication to stakeholders and members of the public this is generally not an issue.
  • Some alternative methods such as biological control may take longer to implement but will have better long-term results.
  • When planting wildflower verges the seed mix needs to be carefully chosen so as not to plant dominant varieties that will out-compete the others and die back can be a little scruffy for a short period of time.


iwm consultancy package

Environment Controls offers a Consultancy Service that provides a bespoke weed management strategy for the year, based on your goals and requirements, and key factors such as:

  • New government directives mean Local Authorities should evidence an amenity weed management strategy that is compliant with current legislation and environmentally sustainable.
  • The next generation of home buyers will expect to see a legacy of improvement when it comes to keeping their environment weed free.
  • Commercial businesses seek options that meet their biodiversity goals.


Your IWM consultancy starts with a series of structured questions designed to determine your exact weed control requirements, followed by a consult call with our Specialist Advisory team to discuss the findings.

After your consultation, you’ll receive your bespoke IWM plan with full advice on recommended actions and implementation or, if you prefer, we can quote to provide the services.

CONTACT our specialist advisor on iwm

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If you would like to see how we can help you adopt an IWM approach to weed management

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