Great tit and cinnabar moth caterpillars on Ragwort (pic from https://www.foe.co.uk/blog/ragwort-poisonous-ragwort-mythbuster)

A few people have asked whether we should be removing all ragwort from the EWAA site as it’s supposedly a “notifiable weed”. The reason for the concern is that it can be poisonous to horses and other grazing animals, particularly when dry and included in hay bales. With no grazing animals on site other than the muntjac deer, there’s no direct risk. And as the EWAA site is well over 100m from the nearest field where horses are kept, we are in the clear regarding concerns over seed spreading to pasture land. So, there is no need to eliminate it from the allotments unless you want it off your plot. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy the stripy caterpillars.

Cinnabar moth (pic from http://butterfly-conservation.org/11908-1319/cinnabar.html)

 

Ragwort – poisonous to horses but great for wildlife

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