Hyde Parish Council
Ragwort Report – October 2016
Following discussion, it is recommended that the following information is provided to residents of the Parish.
2016 was a disappointing year for community involvement in the removal of Ragwort from the Commons in Hyde. This has led to the Parish reviewing what should be undertaken in the future and what advice it should provide to residents.
Under the Weeds Act 1959 statutory action may be taken to control the spread of injurious (harmful) weeds (Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), Creeping or Field Thistle (Cirsium arvense), Curled Dock (Rumex crispus) and Broad Leaved Dock (Rumex obstusifolius) ).
Responsibility for weed control lies with the occupier of the land. DEFRA, in practice, will give priority to investigate complaints where the weeds are:
Threatening land used for keeping or grazing horses or livestock
Farmland used to produce conserved forage
Other agricultural activities.
The complainant must have made reasonable attempts to contact the landowner or occupier where the weeds are growing.
The Parish Council have no legal duty as they do not own or occupy any land. Most of the Commons in Hyde are owned by Hampshire County Council – it is apparent that they do not have sufficient resources or manpower to remove the weeds in Hyde. Their policy is to encourage the “occupiers” to carry out the task – i.e. those who graze animals on the Commons/in the Forest.
The Parish Council would like to continue to encourage all residents/landowners in the village to comply with the Act AND to help clear the Commons/roadsides. To this end, a reminder will be sent in the Spring Parish Newsletter, a Community Payback Day organised in conjunction with the Parish Lengthsman (funded by the Parish Council) and a Volunteer/Residents Day will be organised by a Village Volunteer.
This will be kept under review and if the weeds continue to increase then the Parish Council will enter into further dialogue with Hampshire County Council and/or encourage anyone affected to submit a complaint to DEFRA.