Home Page
   Articles
       links
About Us    
Traders        
Recipes            
Latest Articles
Ragwort
Page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management
Author 
 Message
Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 4:32 pm    Post subject: Ragwort  Reply with quote    

It seems that ragwort is ever increasing and we'll be soon starting the backbreaking job of pulling/destroying it.

Just wondering if anyone else has a problem with it - the authorities don't seem to do much about it, yet it's often found on land owned/managed by local authorities.

Just seems to spread out of control

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We get a fair bit of ragwort round here and it's often growing in the hedges, road verges and by the railway.

I was surprised to see a couple of horses in a field full of ragwort as I'd read it's very dangerous although I gather it's mostly in hay as animals should ignore it while it's growing.

I read a recent article saying that ragwort hasn't actually spread much in the last couple of decades. It surprised me although I may just be more aware of it these days.

I'm sure you know but don't forget to wear gloves.

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can't see how they say it is on the decline, as you say there is loads on the grass verges, railway embankments and so on.

We try and pull the ragwort with a ragworth fork and last year the horses were in one part of the fields and we sprayed the other half with barrier H. Any that we pull we tend to burn off at one end of the field.

The horses tend not to eat ragwort whilst it's still growing, apparently it's a bitter taste (not willing to try to find out!). It's a b*gger if you get a delivery of hay and you find any - all we do is check when we shake a bale out.

One girl I knew had a horse which made a full recover, despite being seriously ill from eating it - some people say that sheep and goats aren't affected, some say that they can die if they eat enough of it.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gertie wrote:
The horses tend not to eat ragwort whilst it's still growing, apparently it's a bitter taste (not willing to try to find out!). It's a b*gger if you get a delivery of hay and you find any - all we do is check when we shake a bale out.


One of the many ideas I've had (some would say too many ) when we get our smallholding would be to make hay and sell locally, or arrange for a local farmer to do it. However, the thoughts of Ragwort and other b*ggers, as you say, would concern me. Is there any other dodgy plants you get in hay?

alison
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Posts: 12908
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thistles

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gertie wrote:

One girl I knew had a horse which made a full recover, despite being seriously ill from eating it - some people say that sheep and goats aren't affected, some say that they can die if they eat enough of it.


Hi hun, your friend will need to be careful, as the effects of ragwort poisoning are cumulative. Although the neddy may have recovered, his liver will most likely be permanently damaged and it is imperative that he doesn't pick up any more ragwort.

Agree that it is still on the rampage. Local authorities don't seem to be doing anything. The verges of the A12 are covered with it in summer.

I think we really need to watch out for ragwort this year. Only yesterday I rode past a plant in full flower due to the mild winter we've had. Add to that the fact that the seeds can lay dormant for up to 20 years and are probably in the process of sprouting now, I think it's going to be a bonanza year!

I hope that the ragfork is in fine working order, Gertie!

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 05 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You shouldn't see ragwort growing out of control anywhere, but the reason its allowed to happen is because noone seems to make a fuss about it anymore. How many times have you driven past a field/roadside & thought, "that's a disgrace" then gone home & done absolutely nothing about it? If you make a point of reporting every incidence to the local authority or DEFRA, perhaps they (the law breakers) will start to take notice. The Weeds Act 1959 is not an archaic law, it should be enforced. There has recently been a ragwort-specific update to the law, in the form of the The Ragwort Control Act 2003.

If you wish to make a positive difference towards the control of ragwort, I urge you to look at the following links:

Weeds complaint form

Weeds Act 1959

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for the links Rob, I will take a look. What confuses me is that the worst infestation I've seen was in a field with horses in. I would feel awkward reporting that.

However, I have often wondered if anything should be done about areas and I'll use the form this year if I see any.

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for your comments, folks.

Rob, that's a good comment. I was under the impression that many people had complained about the ragwort and nothing was being done so I have to say I'm one of those people who would go home and do nothing - we need to dig our heels in about this one if anything can be done, so thanks for the links.

By the way, does ragwort poison sheep? I've had differing opinions.

Nettie, I was just so surpised that a horse was able to make a recovery, the girl was advised about subsequent problems but at least she still had the big boy around, God knows how many poor animals have suffered and had to be put down.

Alison, we bought about 100 bales of hay this year which were absolutely chock-a-block with thisles, you'd think I would learn to put some decent gloves on when handling, did I, did I heck - they get you moving sharpish about 6 a.m. in the morning when you have a palm full of the bloomin' stuff!!!!!

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
Thanks for the links Rob, I will take a look. What confuses me is that the worst infestation I've seen was in a field with horses in. I would feel awkward reporting that.



Why should you feel awkward about reporting a ragwort field with horses in?

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gertie wrote:
Thanks for your comments, folks.

Rob, that's a good comment. I was under the impression that many people had complained about the ragwort and nothing was being done so I have to say I'm one of those people who would go home and do nothing - we need to dig our heels in about this one if anything can be done, so thanks for the links.

By the way, does ragwort poison sheep? I've had differing opinions.


There are many myths surrounding certain species being unaffected by ragwort. The truth is that any mammal may be affected by eating the plant, as it causes liver damage through the alkaloid toxins contained within the plant. It is likely to be more of a problem in hay because the crop is dried (hence the toxins are more concentrated) and the animal finds it more difficult to be selective against the plant, in hay. So yes, it can certainly affect sheep if ingested.

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks for that, Rob. By the way, have you still got your mum knitting at the moment?

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:
Thanks for the links Rob, I will take a look. What confuses me is that the worst infestation I've seen was in a field with horses in. I would feel awkward reporting that.



Why should you feel awkward about reporting a ragwort field with horses in?


Well, the horses looked very well looked after and as I don't know over much about farming I don't fancy being a busy body. There are quite a few fields round here with horses and ragwort.

Is it something I should report and do I assume the owners of the horses don't know what they are doing?

Gertie



Joined: 08 Jan 2005
Posts: 1638
Location: Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi Treacodactyl - I would say that the majority of horse owners will know of the dangers of ragwort - I certainly feel better prepared to report ragwort on grass verges and motorway/railway embankments but I have to say with honesty that I would not interfere if a horseowner had ragwort contained within their field - it is their responsibility to clear it (and it isn't a five minute job). We spent a great deal of time last year spraying/clearing/burning ragwort and it will be back again in some places this year. We have a special fork to use - buying one of them doesn't guarantee you will get the whole plant, leave part behind and it exacerbates the problem. It can take several years to clear.

Rob, am I right in saying that years ago you had to be licensed to carry out the spraying of ragwort? Or not!!!

I don't one anyone reading this to think I am turning the other cheek, I just know how hard it is when you are dealing with a large area manually to get rid of the stuff.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 05 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gertie wrote:
but I have to say with honesty that I would not interfere if a horseowner had ragwort contained within their field - it is their responsibility to clear it (and it isn't a five minute job). We spent a great deal of time last year spraying/clearing/burning ragwort and it will be back again in some places this year. We have a special fork to use - buying one of them doesn't guarantee you will get the whole plant, leave part behind and it exacerbates the problem. It can take several years to clear.

Rob, am I right in saying that years ago you had to be licensed to carry out the spraying of ragwort? Or not!!!


That is not something I have ever heard about. You do need to be licensed to apply all pesticides though, with a different test for each method of application, other than in a 'domestic' situation (on your own land). I don't agree with the spraying of ragwort as an effective eradication method, though it is necessary to control it by spraying in some situations where pulling cannot be completed before the plant sets seed.

Here you have highlighted part of the problem associated with the current increased level of ragwort in the countryside, many horse owners, are either are ignorant of the law or do not think it applies to them as 'domestic' land owners. The other part is the seemingly total lack of responsibility of certain local & highway authorities and developers. No special circumstances exist that excludes any land owner/manager from the responsibilities of environmental protection.

Treacodactyl wrote:

Well, the horses looked very well looked after and as I don't know over much about farming I don't fancy being a busy body. There are quite a few fields round here with horses and ragwort.

Is it something I should report and do I assume the owners of the horses don't know what they are doing?


You can usually tell where someone is making an effort to control their problem, and if it was only the field in which it is growing that is affected, it wouldn't be included in the Weeds Act.

If I could, I would approach the owners first, to make sure they realise & then report it if no action is taken. DEFRA aren't going to come out & arrest anyone breaking the law, as that is unlikely to do anything for the ragwort problem. They are more likely to contact the person/people concerned & make sure they realise the implications & work with them to eradicate the problem. Court action would only be taken where repeated violations & non-compliance occurs.


The eradictaion programme for all invasive weeds only works if it is a joint effort & one field infested with ragwort can pose a risk to all neighbouring land owners. We pull, never spray, ragwort, but it is disconcerting to eradicate it from a field, only to find seeds brought in by birds from local infested sites- then you have to start pulling again.

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management All times are GMT
Page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2
View Latest Posts View Latest Posts

 

Archive
Powered by php-BB © 2001, 2005 php-BB Group
Style by marsjupiter.com, released under GNU (GNU/GPL) license.
Copyright 2004 marsjupiter.com