Ragwort again

This year the park produced beautiful hay: a variety of grasses, dry, sweet smelling, full of wildflower and not a single shred of ragwort anywhere.

All the hard work we put into removing the ragwort, the pulling, the digging and chopping down, and the risk of spraying with herbicides, has paid off with an excellent crop. Not only are we very pleased with ourselves but the farmer is pleased with us too and has promised to help us drill flower seed into Lambrok Meadow and Kestrel Field.

There is a problem, though. Across Lambrok Stream, in the field that lies between the park and Church Lane is a thriving crop of ragwort which has just burst into flower. It looks wonderful but, within the next week or so, it will begin to make wind-dispersed seed.

The park is protected to some small degree by the prevailing winds that come from the west and blow our willow herb seeds into the Church Lane field more frequently than an easterly wind blows their ragwort seeds into our park. Nevertheless, the ragwort will spread into the park if something is not done to prevent it.

Under the 1959 Injurious Weeds Act, it is an offence to allow the ragwort on your land to spread. The park was sprayed in the first place because our neighbouring farmers had complained that our ragwort was threatening their pastures.

We would like to ask either the owner or the manager of the Church Lane field to cut, or at least top, the ragwort before it sets seed. This will need to be done very soon: if the weather is dry, ragwort can make seed even after the flowers have been cut down.

There is a problem in that, while we know the name of the owner of the field, we don’t have their contact details. We don’t know, either, who manages the field for the owner. It has not been farmed for many years although it was, quite recently, ploughed up but not planted.

If you know who manages the land or have some contact details for the owner, please could you pass that information on to us so that we or the Countryside Team can ask them to prevent the Church Lane field’s ragwort spreading back into the park.

Thank you.

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