Friday, August 16, 2019

Rampart Ragwort Plan

Do Two Wrongs Make A Right?

Have we all conveniently forgotten that ragwort is poisonous to cows and horses? 
Have we forgotten that there is a €1000 fine attached to letting ragwort spread on your land?
Can we not use this law now to get the roads authority to employ their staff (once a road is built and as they go along) to pull it up? Don’t tell me that they are too skilled as I see many in charge of a sign or cones or surveying and they could and should take on this responsible verge management plan. The farmers don’t have a hope, if every roadside is flowering like mad and blowing in to their fields.
So that ‘s the quintessential negative…which is like a double negative but five times over…I’m hoping it makes a plus!

Ragwort ID

What you need to know about ragwort. It has a tall stem, multiple yellow flowers and jagged pointed leaves. It damages the liver and the animals know it and avoid it…until there is no grass left and there is nothing else to eat. The other time they will eat it is if it’s dried in with hay as they can’t recognize it. SO, the ragwort must be pulled out and cleared out of the field where the animals can’t reach it and eat it by mistake as it rots or dries. 

Engage Us All

As well as the council tackling ragwort on public land and on road sides, I also propose a ragwort day. Every man, woman and child find a moment to pull over in our cars – and pull one or two plants up. As the ground is wet, they are coming up easily. I have done my random act of kindness for the day. I spent an early hour in the small paddock of a donkey, I am very fond of. I cleared the whole front half  and threw the plants, roots and all, out onto the road. They currently lie  under the sign that reads ‘Do not feed the donkey.’ I feel like saying, ‘I won’t as long as you do!’ because she needs to be put in a different pasture from time to time to let the grass grow back and the area needs to be cleared of ragwort. Don’t get me started on the hazardous wire fencing and the fact that everyone knows donkeys need company.

Don’t tell me, I should be glad at least that she is not having her eyes poked out intentionally or made to carry 7 times her own body-weight all day long. Note to self, be thankful for small mercies.

Fines Finance Biodiversity Recovery 

But back to the point, we have a biodiversity loss emergency. We’ve lost 60% of our wildlife through spraying chemicals on crops and on verges and gardens, that would otherwise be habitat and provide food. We have to pay people to do some weeding. And this is the clause that justifies directing public money to it.

The toxic plant can be lethal, if eaten by horses or cattle. It is also an illegal substance. Under the 1936 Noxious Weeds Act, failure to prevent the spread of poisonous plants like ragwort is an offence.

Any owner, occupier, user or manager of lands who allows the plant to grow can face a fine of up to €1000 on conviction.

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