A version of this post was first published in July of last year.
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. Already, we have turned our attention to pulling and digging the ragwort that might spoil the farmer’s next crop,
There is another problem, though. Across Lambrok Stream, in the field that lies between the park and Church Lane is a thriving crop of ragwort which is in full 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 had to be sprayed last year because our neighbouring farmers had complained that our ragwort was threatening their pastures.
We would like to ask the owners and managers 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.