Recently I've been finding every product, or type of product, I read about online for specialised weed control is impossible to source in the UK.

Examples include:

  • quinchlorac products for weed grasses
  • surfactant products... Other adjuvants are available but I have a lot of ivy and it seems this is an important factor

Is this due to legislature or simply supply problems (Brexit, Covid)? What is and isn't allowed in the UK, and do these rules apply to everyone or can professionals still get products not on the open market?


Quinchlorac is not approved for use anywhere in the EU, and the UK is unlikely to approve it post-Brexit "just because it can".

Arguably it is banned for good reasons, since it has long persistence (i.e. years) in the environment, is highly leachabie into water sources, and has possible liver and kidney toxicity in humans.

For a general list of banned products, and links to regulatory sites etc, see the Royal Horticultural Society web page at https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=820

This UK government site https://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/resources/C/Code_of_Practice_for_using_Plant_Protection_Products_-_Section_2.pdf describes the procedure for obtaining a "certificate of competence" to use pesticides intended for professionals only.

Note: the term "pesticides" includes "any substance, preparation or organism that is prepared or used for the purpose of ... regulating the growth of plants" - i.e. it also includes herbicides.

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