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Turnpike Field -- Ragwort pulling volunteers required

30th July 2022 @ 6:06am – by Steve Elliott for TFWG
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Turnpike Field — Ragwort pulling volunteers required

As many people will have seen, Ragwort is having a very successful year, probably due to this year's weather conditions.

As a result, the top area of Turnpike now has significant growth.

The plan is to pull the plants before the seeds actually set — this minimises the spread of the plant and also reduces the chances of it regrowing next year. Also we need to protect saplings and other wildlife, so manual action is the preferred option.

Some will be left, since according to the DEFRA Code of Practise:-

"Ragwort, as a native plant, is very important for wildlife in the UK. It supports a wide variety of invertebrates and is a major nectar source for many insects. In many situations ragwort poses no threat to horses and other livestock"

So, the plan is to start the pull from 10.00 until 12.00 on Monday, August 1st. The Green Lane gate will be open for vehicles, so meet there at 10am.

Please bring garden forks, gloves, long sleeves and vis-vests if you have one. Also some wheelbarrows are needed so as to move the plants to the tip area of the field. Ragwort is mildly poisonous but does not pose any significant risk to the public from handling the plant, from its pollen or from being contact with it in any way. However, the less time handling it the better.

Again, according to the DEFRA Code of Practise:-

"If Ragwort or the land on which it is present is more than 100m from land used for grazing by horses and other animals or land used for feed/forage is defined as low risk — no immediate action is required".

Since there are a few plants on the lower field that are slightly closer to grazing land, then all of these will be removed just to be on the safe side.

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