Yesterday 11 volunteers and 2 students joined me at Hawley Meadows to pull ragwort from the triangular field just north of the concrete bridge. Working together they combed the field from top to bottom and back again, working with lazy dogs to pull out the roots. We try and get to the ragwort as early as possible to stop it setting seed and to prevent the cattle from eating it as it is toxic to them.
After lunch we then carried out a Great Burnet survey, walking in a long line across meadows to help prevent missing the delicate looking plant. As the cows seem to have chosen to ignore the southern meadows in preference to the northern, sometimes this was a challenge as the grass was well up past hip height. This didn’t stop us finding some good examples of this national declining grassland wildflower.
Assistant Ranger Laura