Monday, 13 August 2012

The CLA Only Fools and Horses?

I got started on this issue really as I found the hysteria around ragwort intellectually offensive. The cluelessness of the people spreading it and the nonsense and irrationality offended my sense of reason. Sometimes though it seems to become almost comic, where bungling opponents seem to open their mouths and put both feet firmly inside. Seemingly making such complete and utter fools of themselves through getting basic facts wrong. Such seems the case with the Country Land and Business Association . Try as I might, I cannot remove the image from my mind of their people travelling around in scruffy yellow "loverly jubberly", yellow, three wheeled, Reliant Robin vans. ( Actually Reliant Regal would be more accurate.) This really seems to be an only fools and horses scenario, The cluelessness seems so obviously apparent.

They recently put out a series of stories covering the usual panic about ragwort.
As a result we had several of the usual unchecked stories being broadcast by the BBC.

On the Aleena Naylor show on BBC Radio Derby they put out the story that ragwort was spreading.
There is a proper government survey done on very scientific lines and it actually shows very clearly that ragwort is declining.
 Donna Traveller the CLA's representative appeared to make a right fool of herself by not knowing a simple elementary fact about the law. She said when asked about the 1959 Weeds Act
Under the 1959 act people have to make an effort to stop the spread of ragwort.
This is not correct. The act places no responsibility on anyone to do anything unless they receive an official order to do so and what is more there is guidance that says that it shouldn't always be controlled. It seems quite clear that it doesn't say what she claimed it does. Here is a briefing on ragwort law.

On the Breakfast show on BBC Shropshire the story was also covered as coming from the CLA. They interviewed two anti-ragwort people and in a really atrocious piece claimed, against the research  that ragwort  is

"becoming more and more prolific"
The interviewer said that it was " a bit like a dock leaf" and got the answer "a little bit yes"

This seems to be a typical example of atrocious ignorance. To me they are not the slightest bit alike other than that they are both leaves. Ragwort leaves are quite ragged as its name suggests and dock has an entire leaf without any significant indentations at all. Goodness knows what people will be pulling up if they think these plants are similar.

Furthermore the woman quite astoundingly said
 "Landowners would be great if they could clear the verges that but onto their own land."
That's right! It seems she told people to go onto land that they don't own on the verges and remove plants. This seems utterly shocking to me that  we have an item on the BBC that suggests this.

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states.

if any person—.
(a)intentionally picks, uproots or destroys any wild plant included in Schedule 8; or.
(b)not being an authorised person, intentionally uproots any wild plant not included in that Schedule,.
he shall be guilty of an offence.

If you are not the landowner or a similarly authorised person you cannot legally just go around uprooting plants. More details can be found here.
Oh and what does the CLA think.  Well after tweeting :-

Help rout the annual menace of ragwort, urges CLA via @sharethis
They tweeted :-

Excellent informative piece on #ragwort on BBC #Shropshire breakfast show this morning. 

Excellent? Informative? Poor information on the distribution   and apparent suggestions to break the law. If they think that is excellent SHAME ON THEM!

Ragwort Hysteria latest entries

1 comment:

  1. We (that is: lovers of the Cinnabar Moth and its yellow/black stripy caterpillar) love Ragwort too.

    One can make a great catrpillar restaurant around a series of Ragwort plants in flowerpots with cut-down 2litre bottles over them. You'll need more than one plant because they get well eaten by the stripy family