Braving the rain to tackle ragwort
Friday 13th July 2012
Volunteers from Northumberland Wildlife Trust have been braving the rain over the past few weeks and removing large amounts of ragwort from its Annstead Dunes reserve (between Beadnell and Seahouses), in preparation for a number of Exmoor ponies moving onto the site to graze.
Ragwort, which flowers from June to November, is a daisy-like, yellow flower which grows like ‘wild-fire’ and is renowned as a weed of paddocks and pastures where it can be harmful to livestock - hence the need to clear it before moving the ponies onto the site.
Over the past few years, there has been a fantastic display of wildflowers due to a programme of fencing and conservation grazing. Exmoor ponies are very hardy creatures that are happy grazing in most environments, especially the Dunes where they feed on the old grass, opening up the ground to allow more of the dune flora such as lady’s bedstraw, restharrow and bloody crane’s-bill to thrive. Selectively removing the scrub is also undertaken to preserve the dune’s conditions.
Tagged with: Volunteering