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Making Hay at Eastfield (safely)

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With just a few hours notice volunteers descended on Eastfield to remove ragwort which is toxic to grazing animals, especially horses, so that the field could be safely cut for hay.

David German, Councillors Matt Geen, Les Hood and Richard Wilkins are pictured here looking all too chipper and fresh, so I guess that was pre-removal!

Ragwort is native biennial which is a food source for a wide range of insects, including cinnabar caterpillars ( more here ). It is not usually a significant problem in gardens, but it is poisonous and that can make it a serious weed in paddocks and gardens backing onto fields grazed by horses or cattle.

Or indeed when the field is being cut for hay as Eastfield is.

The Minister for the Horse (who knew?) issued a Code of Practice on how to prevent the spread of ragwort in 2004 – follow the link to find out more. Warning; it's a long read. But it does have some photos of 'ragwort' and 'not-ragwort' to help you identify it.

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