CROW (Conserve Reading on Wednesdays)
Ragwort pulling - Bugs Bottom, Gravel Hill, Emmer Green
Wednesday, 12th July 2017
Our annual visit to pull ragwort which this year was in plentiful supply - last year we arrived to find the site had been mown.
The plants must be disposed of safely to avoid the risk of being eaten by livestock to which they are poisonous even when dead. Given this is a public open space the only risk is to horses which can occasionally be found being ridden on the site, depositing the plants beneath the undergrowth in the adjacent wooded areas is therefore deemed adequate.
Caterpillars of the cinnabar moth for which ragwort is the main food plant, were collected and transferred to another site.
After a cool start to the day with grey skies by afternoon the sun had broken through and with the temperature rising it was accepted that despite our best efforts we were not going to clear the entire site.
Even the most enthusiastic were forced to admit defeat.
However a significant proportion of the site had been cleared, not a bad achievement.
Created: Friday, 14th July 2017
Photographs: Alan Stevens