Ragwort plague spreas across Britain - but Why??

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Thu Aug 18 22:47:39 BST 2011

Time to restart campaign to blitz ragwort
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - Western Morning News
Remember all the fuss about ragwort a few years 
back – how its steady advance across the 
countryside was going to kill off all our cattle 
and horses, unless we rooted it out and burnt it?
Local authorities were encouraged to send teams 
out along the roads and lanes pulling it up, and 
it was a positive social offence to have the 
nasty yellow stuff growing on your land. The WMN 
even ran a campaign for ragwort eradication.
To what end, one might wonder, looking at the 
magnificent array of the intrusive weed all over 
the place. A drive through eight counties of 
south-western and southern England last week ably 
illustrated the current situation, every hedgerow 
festooned with it and, in these financially 
challenged times, no evident effort made by councils to sort it out.
Now the NFU has started a drive to make farmers 
and land managers vigilant, reminding them to be 
aware of their responsibilities when it comes to 
"a toxic weed that is potentially fatal for livestock".
The union's Dr Andrea Graham said: "Common 
Ragwort poses a real risk to animal health 
because it can have potentially fatal 
consequences if ingested either in its green or 
dried state by horses and livestock.
"Livestock owners should be vigilant so that 
their stock isn't exposed to the risk of ragwort 
poisoning. Grazing land should be regularly 
inspected for ragwort when animals are present 
and it should be pulled, removed and disposed of responsibly when discovered.
"Non-compliance may be used as evidence in any 
legal action and leave farmers open to 
enforcement action and possible prosecution under the Weeds Act."
It's always worth looking at the ancient, and 
evocative, nicknames of weeds. For ragwort, they 
are St Jameswort, Ragweed, Stinking 
Nanny/Ninny/Willy, Staggerwort, Dog Standard, 
Cankerwort, Stammerwort and Mare's Fart.

The march of the ragwort ravers - Daily Telegraph

By Robin Page
Unfortunately I’m never going to be hailed as a 
“ragwort eradication champion” (Daily Telegraph 
letters July 14 2011), as the march of this 
highly noxious weed is so rapid that it will take 
more than me to stop it. Speeding the march are the...............
Yes, I concede, the ragwort plant is the 
foodplant of the attractive cinnabar moth 
(below). But the moths managed before ragwort was 
allowed to get out of control. The reason for 
ragwort's rampant state is simply that people 
have become separated from nature. People just 
don't understand how the.........................

Ragwort is a very poisonous weed.

Inside its cells, the leaves and stalks contain a 
highly toxic form of cyanide.
This deadly contaminant means the plant is a 
dangerous pest in any agricultural field you care 
to mention and for the naïve young horse or cow 
that eats it, the results are very often fatal.

+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://mailman.gn.apc.org/mailman/private/diggers350/attachments/20110818/c612339d/attachment.html>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list