Saturday, 5 March 2011

Fen Ragwort a protected plant is not immune

The Daily Mail is not noted as the most radical or conservation minded of newspapers. Often besmirched with nicknames like "Hate Mail" or "Daily Mosely" and reminders of the 1930's proprietor who wrote to a certain politician calling him "Adolf the Great"

But let's be fair, they published a nice article on that rare and endangered plant Fen Ragwort which starts:-

"A ditch which is filled with discarded drink cans, plastic bags and bottles is one of the ten most important wildlife sites in Britain, according to Natural England.

But the spot on a busy road on the outskirts of Ely, Cambridgeshire, with a roadside burger van parked next to it, is the only place in the country where self-seeded Fen Ragwort grows.

The plant was believed to have become extinct in the Victorian era so wildlife experts were stunned when it was discovered again in 1972."

Read more:
Rubbish-filled ditch beside roadside burger van named as one of UK's 10 most important wildlife sites

However, almost predictably there is a hysterical commenter on the website saying
"As ragwort is responsible for the painful death of hundreds of horses every year, I feel like digging it up and burning it!"

Of course those who have studied it don't believe this nonsense about hundreds of horses dying every year, but this is another example of how the hysteria around ragwort affects conservation. This time it is endangering a legally protected plant.
Ragwort Hysteria latest entries

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