Big Society can help tackle ragwort risk

Tackling Common Ragwort can be a practical example of the Big Society in action says Agriculture Minister Jim Paice.  With the Common Ragwort season in full bloom, Mr Paice is calling on landowners, local groups and nature-lovers to work together to help control the toxic weed.  Mr Paice said:

This little flower may look like a pretty yellow daisy but it spreads easily and can poison horses and other animals – so tackling this problem can be a practical example of the Big Society working together to be part of the solution to control the spread.

Landowners, conservation and community groups can all help by being on the lookout and to help remove this weed, where there’s a risk that livestock will eat it, by following the advice in the ragwort code of practice.

If you’re worried about the risk to your livestock from ragwort on neighbouring land, get in touch with the owner to let them know. And if a local solution can’t be found, you can call Natural England if the problem looks like it’s getting out of hand.

More information can be found in the Defra press notice.  Guidance on how to identify Common Ragwort and how to control it can be found in the Code of Practice on How to Prevent the Spread of Ragwort, which can be found here on the Defra website.  More information is also avaliable on the Natural England website.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted 5 August, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    There is a lot of ragwort and other weeds on National Trust owned land in Swaffham Prior Fen (in Mr Paice’s constituency of South East Cambridgeshire). It is part of the Trust’s so-called ‘Wicken Vision.’ Maybe some people can be got together to pull the ragwort? I’m not going to do it because I am ‘persona non grata’ with the National Trust.

  2. Willard Norvogel
    Posted 6 August, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Thats a depressingly unimaginative idea – and illustrates what we all fear is the real role the government is seeing for big Society. Who is the beneficiary here? mostly the landowners. Reduced veterinary bills, increase in good grazing land and maybe even the value of the land. Will any of these benefits be passed on to the community groups (the Swaffam and District invasive weeds society maybe?) and conservation groups doing the work? how does this benefit them and the areas in which they live? Or is the fresh air and excercise enough to run a community group in the brave new Big society, where we are all keenly motivated to help those who need it least?

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