Bye Bye Ragwort

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


About blackwatervalleycountryside

The Blackwater Valley is located on the borders of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire and runs for approximately 30km from the source near Aldershot, northwards to Swallowfield. At its confluence it joins the rivers Whitewater and Loddon. The Loddon eventually flows into the River Thames near Reading. Work in the Blackwater Valley is co-ordinated by the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership on behalf of the local authorities that border the Valley. Despite being surrounded by urban development the Valley provides an important green corridor for local residents As well as the Blackwater Valley Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a small part of the Basingstoke Canal SSSI, three nature reserves within the Valley catchment and many other areas have been recognised for their ecological importance. The local planning authorities covering the Valley have designated 31 other areas as ‘Wildlife Sites’.
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