Thursday, 6 September 2012

Seahouses Ragwort Bash

We recently took a group of our volunteers to Seahouses to assist NT Northumberland coast rangers control the spread of ragwort on coastal grasslands.  The species rich grasslands had a diverse variety of flora including lots of ragwort which is toxic to livestock.  As these grasslands were to be cut for hay and the toxins persist after cutting and drying it was neccessary to remove the ragwort beforehand.  This we did by hand-pulling the smaller weaker plants and digging up the larger more robust ones.

Before we started

Volunteers Neil, Peter and Tim hard at work.

Ragwort is a native plant with clusters of yellow flowers and is a food plant of the cinnabar moth catterpillar of which we came across many.

Cinnabar moth catterpillar

Ragwort-free zone

The team all done and ready for home

After a hard days work the area was declared a ragwort-free zone and we headed back to Gibside with aching backs.

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