Yellow Peril – beware
the Killer Weed
Everyone who cares about our environment and countryside will recognise
the plant Common Ragwort (Senecio Jacobaea). It is an obvious weed in July and
August when it grows up to 3 feet tall with ragged edged leaves and a yellow
flower, but it is NOW that we need to act to eradicate this poisonous plant.
Ragwort also damages our environment by smothering rare wild flowers and most
worrying is that research now proves that the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (the
poisons in ragwort) have been found in eggs, grain, milk and honey.
Some useful information about Ragwort
- Ragwort is easily identified; the plant produces a rosette of green ragged
edged leaves in early summer and then grows into a 3ft upright plant with a
woody slightly red stem. It produces a large head of flowers with daisy like
petals of bright yellow.
- Ragwort is so poisonous it is a listed plant under the 1959 Weeds Act so
to allow it to grow and flower on your land, whether owned or rented by you,
contravenes the law.
- This weed is killed easily before it flowers by spraying with a MCPA or a
2.4D herbicide. A natural non-toxic environmentally friendly spray is also
available called Barrier H. No animals must be allowed to graze on sprayed
land until all the ragwort plants have rotted into the ground.
- Mature ragwort plants pull up easily but all plants must be burnt.
ALWAYS WEAR GLOVES AND LONG SLEEVES WHEN HANDLING
RAGWORT and remember to wash your hands when finished..
- This plant retains its poisonous toxins whether growing, sprayed or dried
- Each mature plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds and these can spread up
to a 10 mile radius.
If you want to safeguard the environment
for future generations this is how you can help
- Check your land regularly for ragwort plants and treat as necessary.
- When you see ragwort plants in your locality pull them up and incinerate
them. Please always wear gloves when handling ragwort.
- When you spot large areas of ragwort in fields or on road side verges
contact either myself or the Oxfordshire County Council Environmental Services
(telephone number 01869 241144) with full details of the location.
During July and August the British Horse Society clearance volunteers will be
working throughout Oxfordshire clearing ragwort from public land, commons etc.
So if you can spare a few hours to help please contact me. Lets make our county
a safer place for both animals and humans free from the dangers of ragwort.
If you would like further
information, leaflets or even a field visit to help identify ragwort please
contact me the BHS welfare officer : -
Miss D M Harris on 01993 702844.
Links BHS website
www.bhs.org.uk follow links