Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)


Common Ragwort – The Problem

Common Ragwort is a native plant that is highly invasive, and colonises wasteland, grass verges and fields. Ragwort contains dangerous toxins that can cause fatal liver damage to horses and livestock. Ragwort will need to be controlled when there is likelihood of it spreading onto neighbouring land.

Common Ragwort – Information and Identification

Ragwort can be identified by its bright yellow flowers that sit on green stems, with the plant reaching up to 1.5 metres in height. Immature ragwort has a squat rosette of leaves with no flowers. Seeds can be viable for many years before germinating, whilst its rapid spread on the sides of roads is partly due to low maintenance, and partly attributed to the increase of wind from vehicle movement. Ragwort out-competes other vegetation by releasing chemicals, whilst it is often spread inadvertently by humans, by ill-advised ragwort pulling. If plants are pulled without care, many seeds will be dispersed, whilst roots are often left, which promotes strong growth. Always wear gloves when handling ragwort due to its toxins.

Common Ragwort – The Law

Ragwort is covered under the 1959 Weeds Act and the 2004 Ragwort Control Act, which confers obligations on landowners to control the plant and reduce the risk of spread onto neighbouring land. Adjoining landowners with livestock are likely to insist on the control of ragwort to prevent spread onto their land, and if this has already occurred, are likely to demand remedial measures are taken.

Common Ragwort – The Solution

Herpetosure Invasive Solutions has a range of tried and trusted cost-effective environmentally aware solutions, to fit client’s timescales, budgets, and site specific requirements, as well as meeting all regulations.