Marsh Ragwort?Leave a Comment
Could this be Marsh Ragwort…
Until the Fenland farming family that owned this Wetland fen field where this photo was taken last year stopped farming, it was grazed by sheep year after year without any problems, But since the field has been empty, the ragwort has once again become dominant.
The original farming family had the benefit of knowledge handed down by generations as to how to manage local hazards such as ragwort and liver fluke etc by using traditional good practice remedies to keep a reasonable balance.
If a new sheep farmer were to take over this field – over a couple of seasons, the balance of ragwort could be bought down to manageable proportions so sheep could safely graze with no risk of harm. But the fact that most sheep farmers understand that sheep love to eat as much ragwort as they can when it is in the rossette stage and will also nibble the odd mature flowering tip – although they do curl their lips back to this so it must be quite bitter. Great care must be taken to see that they do not overdose in the interim.
If you notice the leaves are a bit cabbage looking – not so seperated as most ragworts – that is what leads me to think that it may be marsh ragwort. The local vet was of the opinion marsh ragwort could be even more toxic – blaming it for causing many livestock deaths.
– Roger – Non Executive Chairman – Giles Landscapes CMS Ltd