Ragwort Poisoning


When you see Ragwort what do you do?

It's not in your field - you ignore it - it's someone else's problem... wrong!
It won't be long before it's seeds blow into your field. Don't leave it to someone else.
Do something about it...

Ragwort in the Rosette Stage
Ragwort Rosette Stage

You keep your field clear of Ragwort, of course you do, (don't you?) but it's infesting many of the road side verges in the UK...

If you don't do something about it - it will soon be in your field!

This land is probably owned by your local Council / Highways department and they probably don't even know about the problem.

See contact numbers at the bottom of this page.

Ragwort - Stem and flower stageRagwort Stem and Flower stage

It's no use taking steps to rid your field of ragwort when there may be another infestation 2 fields away... seeds will still blow over and it will start all over again!

You must report any and all Ragwort infdestations in your area.

Ragwort is an "injurious weed" and is governed by the Control of Weeds Act 1959.

However, the Ragwort Control Act 2003 came into force in February 2003 and amends the Weeds Act, gives added protection to horses, as well as other animals from the serious and sometimes fatal consequences of Ragwort poisoning.

The Ragwort Control Act makes it easier to prosecute those who disregard the need to control Ragwort and a Code of Practice, produced by the Government, was created which offers comprehansive guidance and advice on all matters to do with Ragwort

We contacted DEFRA the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs who confirmed that a landowner must treat land infested by ragwort.

Ragwort poisoning - a slow & painful death for horses!

If you see ragwort don't leave it to someone else... tell the landowner and they should take action. When ragwort threatens agricultural land, the landowner is required by Law to properly treat it. If they don't, DEFRA will make it happen!

In many cases, the landowner will be your local Council or Highways department. We contacted our local Council and they confirmed that they always investigate any reports of ragwort and will take the necessary steps to destroy it. However, it is up to YOU to report it in the first place!

What can YOU do about Ragwort?

Report infestations of Ragwort to the private landowner or Public Body.

Helpful phone numbers...

... depending on the land in question. Ring them and report the Ragwort. If it is their land, they will deal with it. Go on - pick up the phone - do it now - don't leave it to someone else!

Ragwort Facts

How to kill Ragwort

We tried Barrier H but only found that, whilst the plants shrivel up really quickly, they grow back within a few weeks.

We tried burning the plants with a garden "flame thrower"... they grew back within a few weeks.

We dug plants up with a fork, but bits of the root are left in the ground... and they grow back.

In our experience the only effective way of getting rid of Ragwort permanently is to spot spray the plants with a systemic weed killer like Roundup or any other containing Glyphosate - best done at the rosette stage. This kills the roots and it DOESN'T grow back. You just have to keep applying it over a period of a year or two, as new plants will spring up elsewhere, but eventually, you do win the battle.

Obviously, you have to keep your horses out of the field for a few days after each application...!