April 3, 2008

The British Horse Society Welfare Department is urging people to help prevent the spread of Ragwort during the first Ragwort Awareness Week of 2008, which runs from 14-20 April 2008.

The Society is calling for volunteers to organise Ragwort Pulling Parties to remove the deadly weed where it is growing on or near to grazing land.

Ragfork have generously sponsored Ragwort Awareness Week and have donated 50 Ragforks to be delivered free of charge to those wishing to take part in the BHS Ragwort Pulling Parties.

The BHS Welfare Department can provide advice, posters and flyers to advertise your event as well as advisory literature on the dangers of Ragwort. Defra codes of practice on how to prevent the spread of Common Ragwort and disposal options are also available.

Lee Hackett, BHS Welfare Senior Executive, said: "Every year the BHS receive hundreds of calls and emails from concerned horse owners requiring advice on how to control Ragwort. This is an important time of year to control Ragwort, while it is still at the rosette stage in order to help prevent the weed spreading further."

The BHS advises that you always wear thick, waterproof gloves when handling ragwort and to protect your skin from contact with the weed. It is also sensible to wear a facemask. Please ensure that you have permission from the owner of the land before embarking on any ragwort pulls.