A ragwort here and a ragwort there.

Well,  It was a busy day for us all on Collard Hill as we spent it Ragwort pulling.

“Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) is a specified weed under the Weeds Act 1959. It contains toxins, which can have debilitating or fatal consequences if eaten by horses and other grazing animals.

Ragwort may need to be controlled when its presence and the likelihood of it spreading to neighbouring land poses a risk to horses and other grazing animals or land used for the production of forage.” Taken from DEFRA’s guidance notes.

We cleared the ragwort that would potentially spread its seeds over to the neighbouring land, what with the usual south-westerly winds we have across the site.

There didn’t seem to be much flying, certainly no large blues; however, I did see a very lonely looking common blue at the bottom of the Eastern Glade. We also saw a lovely Brimstone flying amongst the grasses near the oak tree.

It was pretty warm weather again yesterday so by 11am we were all glad of a sit down, cold drink and yummy cake! (Bread pudding for those who want to know the way to a rangers/ volunteers heart/stomach so to speak.)

The wholly thistles are really beginning to come out in flower and they are looking great, the burnet moths and marbled whites are loving them too.

After a hard days work we had cleared and covered quite a large area – thanks guys an gals who helped out!

Could I point out that we were coming across a lot of ragwort that had already been pulled out of the ground. We think its great that visitors to the site know the issues surrounding ragwort but could I just mention and make people aware that when ragwort is pulled out of the ground and left to rot, it becomes more palatable to cattle and ponies, increasing the ingestion risk more than if the ragwort was just left to grow in the ground.

I will leave you with a picture of the volunteers hard at work. Thanks guys!

Hayley – Ranger for the Mendip and Polden Hills

Volunteers ragwort pulling, Collard Hill

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