Ragwort again

Theo Hopkins thopkins at thopkins.demon.co.uk
Mon Aug 17 07:48:36 EST 1998

In article <RjmPuQAga011EwFl at wharfe.demon.co.uk>, David Brear
<dbrear at wharfe.demon.co.uk> writes
>I seem to have lost the beginning of this thread in uk.environment.
>conservation so forgive me for starting over again.
>I have seen a hell of a lot of ragwort this year. It seems to be all
>over Norfolk and the Vale of York, both arable areas, of course. I
>thought 'hang on, this can't be right' so it is interesting to hear that
>someone else thinks so too. What does anyone else think?
>Also, I have a message from a gentlemen in Cornwall who has
>found a poster in his post office to the effect that five species of
>weeds must be destroyed if you have them on your land. The list
>includes ragwort but not giant hogweed. 
>Does the Weed Act still apply? 
>Does anyone know the legal position regarding weeds? 
>Is honey made from ragwort poisonous, particularly to children?
>My Cornish correspondent is concerned because already the
>local churchyard has been sprayed, to the detriment of other
>All information gratefully appreciated.

I am told by my horse/sheep owning friends that that a landowner is
under a duty to remove ragwort due to its toxicity. Maybe someone else
has chapter and verse?

I also recently came across an article in a small-holders' magazine
(can't remember the name or date or name of the magazine). The article
was writen by someone from a donkey sanctury, and it was anouncing their
campaign to alert the public to the danger to livestock of cut hay with
ragwort in it. Aparently an animal will avoid ragwort when growing in a
field, but don't distinguish it when it is in cut dry hay. They said it
was a acumulative type toxin.

There are many of 'out of cultivativation' fields round here in Devon
that are a sea of bright yellow ragwort right now. As some of these
fields may well be fields that have other wild flowers as they have not
been fertilised or weedkillered or reseeded, should people be worried
that the non target wildflowers and grasses could be wiped out with weed
killers to comply with whatever laws there are or 'good practice' with
Theo Hopkins

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