Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Suffolk council gets it wrong

One of the features of Ragwort Hysteria is how often even official bodies get their facts in an atrocious muddle and how often bureaucrats fail to check their facts, even when they are abundantly available on the internet.
Suffolk Council are a case in point they say on their website

"The Weeds Act 1959 lists a number of weeds that can be harmful to human or animal health. These are known as noxious weeds. It places a duty on controllers of land to remove the following scheduled weeds from their land to prevent seeds contaminating their neighbours' land

This is plainly and simply wrong. The Weeds Act talks of injurious weeds not noxious weeds. This means, for those of you who have studied Latin, weeds that are harmful to the interests of agriculture. all the other weeds listed in the Weeds Act are non-poisonous.

Secondly, the Weeds Act does not place any automatic duty on controllers of land to remove the weeds.

Thirdly, the seeds do not normally disperse for more than a few metres so they mislead people into thinking that seed spread is the primary reason for ragwort colonising a site. Botanical studies show that it is the conditions on the site that favour ragwort growth that are important.
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