Deadly weed danger warning in Lancaster and Morecambe

A display of Cushag (Ragwort) on the side of the road.
A display of Cushag (Ragwort) on the side of the road.

A highly poisonous weed which can be seen springing up across the district can kill horses and cause a nasty skin reaction to anyone who picks it.

Ragwort, a tall yellow plant, is known as an ‘injurious’ weed and whilst it is not an offence to have it growing, it must not spread to agricultural land, particularly grazing areas.

A lady from Lancaster who has horses, wants to warn people about the dangers of ragworts to animals and humans.

She said: “It is highly poisonous and can kill them if they eat it. If children or adults pick it, it can cause a nasty skin reaction. We all have to take a responsibility for it growing ourselves.

“At this time of year, the tall yellow plant is easy to see and easy to pull up. It tends to grow more every year and now is the time it needs pulling up.”

The National Farmers Union has some advice on what to do if you see ragwort growing on private land. They said: “Where ragwort is found the first step is to identify the land owner or manager. Then contact them directly to resolve the issue.

“If this approach doesn’t work, complaints can be made to Natural England and enforcement notices can be issued requiring landowners to take action to prevent the spread of these weeds.”

A spokesman for Lancaster City Council said they wouldn’t go onto private land to spray and get rid of ragwort, it would be the landowner or tenant’s responsibility.