When you see Ragwort what do you do?
It's not in your field - you ignore it - it's someone else's problem... wrong!
It won't be long before it's seeds blow into your field. Don't leave it to someone else.
Do something about it...
Ragwort in the Rosette Stage
You keep your field clear of Ragwort, of course you do, (don't you?) but it's infesting many of the road side verges in the UK...
If you don't do something about it - it will soon be in your field!
This land is probably owned by your local Council / Highways department and they probably don't even know about the problem.See contact numbers at the bottom of this page.
Ragwort - Stem and flower stage
It's no use taking steps to rid your field of ragwort when there may be another infestation 2 fields away... seeds will still blow over and it will start all over again!
You must report any and all Ragwort infdestations in your area.
Ragwort is an "injurious weed" and is governed by the Control of Weeds Act 1959.
However, the Ragwort Control Act 2003 came into force in February 2003 and amends the Weeds Act, gives added protection to horses, as well as other animals from the serious and sometimes fatal consequences of Ragwort poisoning.
The Ragwort Control Act makes it easier to prosecute those who disregard the need to control Ragwort and a Code of Practice, produced by the Government, was created which offers comprehansive guidance and advice on all matters to do with Ragwort
We contacted DEFRA the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who confirmed that a landowner must treat land infested by ragwort.
Ragwort poisoning - a slow & painful death for horses!
If you see ragwort don't leave it to someone else... tell the landowner and they should take action. When ragwort threatens agricultural land, the landowner is required by Law to properly treat it. If they don't, DEFRA will make it happen!
In many cases, the landowner will be your local Council or Highways department. We contacted our local Council and they confirmed that they always investigate any reports of ragwort and will take the necessary steps to destroy it. However, it is up to YOU to report it in the first place!
What can YOU do about Ragwort?
Report infestations of Ragwort to the private landowner or Public Body.
Helpful phone numbers...
- Highways Agency - 0300 123 5000 - (Motorways and trunk roads)
The Highways Agency have a really interesting page about their Ragwort Policies
- Network Rail - 08457 11 41 41 - (Railway land and embankments)
You can also complain to Network Rail about Ragwort using their online form
or for all other roads
- Your Local Highways Authority -
Look them up in your local telephone directory or the local authority website
... depending on the land in question. Ring them and report the Ragwort. If it is their land, they will deal with it. Go on - pick up the phone - do it now - don't leave it to someone else!