Friday, 24 June 2011

Stop Trashing Our UK Countryside & Our Farms




I spend hundreds of hours driving through this pleasant & green land. One can’t help but see & feel the beauty of this Agricultural (industrial) landscape that is rural Great Britain.
However over summer this beautiful landscape is ruined by the disgusting sight of “out of control” Ragwort on the Motorways, public roads, the rail network & even in the towns & cities.
It makes me feel sick inside. It seems nobody gives a damn!
Ragwort is a noxious weed. Who is responsible?????
Common Ragwort used to be rarely seen because farmers would not tolerate it. Even the Daily Telegraph reported
“The change from rarity to infestation (….of Ragwort) reflects a fundamental change in Britain: from a society with a strong rural culture and understanding to a country dominated by urban values”
Ragwort can be highly dangerous to grazing animals including cattle. Every Ragwort plant has up to 150,000 seeds which can remain viable for up to 20 years. Seeds can be blown in the wind up to 100 m.

Natural England is responsible for enforcing the Weeds Act 1959 & the Ragwort Control Act 2003.
Why are they doing absolutely nothing about this outrage?
There is an army of bureaucrats snooping in the name of GB’s farming’s red tape, so why aren’t they waging war on those public authorities allowing ragwort to grow out of control. Ragwort is a serious threat to pasture based grazing farms.
Who's responsible for roadside weeds? The control of roadside vegetation, including common ragwort, is the responsibility of the Highways Agency in the case of motorways and other trunk roads, and the local highway authority, e.g. County Councils, in respect of all other public roads.
The Weeds Act 1959 provides for the serving of a notice on the occupier of land when ragwort is present and is deemed to be a nuisance — the offence occurs when there is a failure to comply with such a notice.
The presence of ragwort, however dense, is not a problem in itself unless it is in danger of causing a nuisance by spreading to neighbouring land. (I think this is an appalling weakness in the regulations)
The Ragwort Control Act 2003 defines an infestation as being of high risk when it is present and flowering or seeding within 50m of land used for grazing by horses and other animals or land used for feed or forage production. At 50-100m distance the infestation would be classed as of medium risk, and of low risk when at a distance greater than 100m.
I suggest you complain
Telephone: 0845 6003078 or 0114 2418920 Website:
Telephone: 08457 50 40 30 website: DON’T TRASH OUR FARMS
Why in England do people regularly trash the landscape with litter? I don’t understand the mentality of the litterer! Day after day near my village (& probably your village & your farm) litter is dropped from passing cars & vans.
Do these people realise that not only do they trash my (& their) living environments but they put at risk farm animals & farmers. Dairy cows are curious creatures that will play with trash not realising that plastic can endanger their lives. Farm machinery will change a beer can into dangerous metal for farm staff & dairy cows. By walking regularly sadly you see the local area trashed daily…by whom? Well does the fact that a very high percentage of the rubbish includes: - beer & coke cans, McDonalds, cigarettes & the Sun Newspaper give us any hints??????? The countryside & the landscape is one issue but farms are OUR OFFICE, OUR WORKPLACE & OUR HOMES……STOP littering OUR FARMS.
Current UK Pasture Measurements

Pasture growth still very variable dependant on rain. Some spring like growth in Northern Ireland & the south of England. Eastern counties struggling still. However big improvement generally with pasture growth & average Farm Cover. The grass based organic farms have slow growth rates & relatively low covers. Some organic farms have NOT yet cut any silage off the grazing platform.Keep grazing rotations long as we are now entering summer with soil that is still dry for this time of year.

TheAverage Pasture Cover (kgsDM/ha) & Pasture Growth (kgsDM/ha/day)
Portaferry,Nth Ireland,AFC 2130, growth 71kgs/ha/day, after 2 weeks of rain
South Ayrshire, Scotland, 2324, gr72, soil temps 15.3 degrees

Dumfries, Scotland, AFC 2080, growth 64

North Wales, AFC 1950, gr 44, demand 55

North Wales, AFC 1970, gr 67kgs

Cheshire organic, 2100, growth 30

Shropshire organic, 1764,gr 33 (ouch) cutting lots but growth now

Shropshire, 2100, gr 65, so magic day is here again!!!!

Derbyshire, AFC 2231, growth 58, demand 61

Staffordshire, 2415, gr 64, de 49, reasonable rain last 10 days

East Staffordshire, 2160, growth 50, cutting 9% of farm today

Nottingham, growth 40, demand 60 feeding maize rain showers okay til mid July

Oxford, 2350, gr 40, 30 day round,grass Q not good, still cracks in dry soil

Gloucestershire, 2137, gr87, demand 63, 20% of platform taken out for silage

Dorset AFC 2300, growth 122

Dorset organic, 2100, growth 39, topping

Dorset, 2427, gr61, 45 day grazing rotation

Dorset, 2350, gr 75, milk, M/solids & cow condition all improving since rain

East Sussex, 2004, growth 65, grass in some order now

Devon, 2250, gr67, demand 50

Devon, 2250, growth 64

Cornwall, AFC 2100, growth 85

Flensburg, Northern Germany,organic, AFC 1890, growth 49, 32 day grazing rotation, some rain & improvement in situation


  1. You are spot on Tom but no one is accountable & the Ministers never get out of London to see how bad the problem really is.

  2. Its a bloody disgrace! I dont think they know what Ragwort looks like???? Its a serious threat to dairy farms in my area. Thank you for protesting thou I suspect you might be all need to complain but they wont....all leaving it to someone else

  3. Good on you Tom, I hate litter too. Why do they do it. Even pigs dont litter their own beds