Ragwort

You are here: Home > Welfare & Care > Ragwort: Find Your Toolkit > Toolkit: Dealing with Ragwort in Scotland > Interactive Guide to Dealing With Ragwort

An Interactive Guide to Dealing With Ragwort in Scotland

Before you start, remember:

  • At no point should you ever try to enter railway lines or motorway verges to check for ragwort.
  • The landowner’s permission must always be obtained before going onto other land.
  • It’s advisable to wear protective gloves and a face mask if handling ragwort.
  • This guide relates to Common Ragwort. The Weeds Act (1959) only applies to Common Ragwort. It’s not an offence for ragwort to grow in certain areas, but spread of ragwort onto high-risk land (see below) is an offence. If land you own has ragwort, and it’s either at risk of spreading to high-risk land or your land is occupied by horses, you must act now to remove the ragwort.
Start

1. Are you sure the plant is Common Ragwort?

Ragwort flowers
Young horse in field with ragwort

2. Is the ragwort growing in fields used for grazing horses?

The BHS Welfare Team has a network of Welfare Officers who work in an advisory capacity.

The BHS will aim to resolve the concern by working with the horse owner/keeper or landowner. If you’re concerned about horses grazing in fields with ragwort, contact the team on:

02476 840517 or
welfare@bhs.org.uk

Pony in field with ragwort

3. Is the ragwort growing within 50 metres (guideline) of land used by horses/livestock OR land used for forage production?

4. Is the ragwort growing within 50-100 metres (guideline) of land used by horses/livestock OR land used for forage production?

Horses in field with ragwort

The land is classified
as medium risk.

A high risk is posed to animals grazing within 50 metres of where ragwort is growing, but it's more effective if ragwort is controlled up to 100 metres from any eligible land at risk to help prevent its spread.

Discuss the risk with the landowners/occupiers. They should continue to monitor the situation and put controls in place if necessary.

The land is classified
as low risk.

Consider making the landowners/occupiers aware if spread increases. It would be in their interests to take action as part of a contingency plan if necessary.

The land is classified
as high risk!

Immediate action to remove the weed from this area and control its spread must be taken by the landowner.

Ragwort in meadow

4. Is the ragwort growing on privately-owned land?

The Scottish Government Guidance on How to Prevent the Spread of Ragwort (pdf) has full details of the actions that complainants should take.

When a potential problem is identified, the landowner/occupier should be contacted first. If the landowner/occupier fails to take any action to prevent the spread of ragwort or remove it where necessary, Scottish Government, Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) can be contacted.

The SGRPID will take enforcement action under the Weeds Act 1959 where ragwort poses a high risk to horses/livestock or the production of conserved forage.

Ragwort by picnic bench

5. Is the ragwort growing on parish, community or council-owned land?

The relevant parish, town or community council are responsible.

Find your Local Authority’s details at cosla.gov.uk

Ragwort by road

6. Is the ragwort growing by the side of a national railway/motorway/trunk road?

Railways
Network Rail is responsible.
Contact: 03457 114141
networkrail.co.uk

Motorways / Trunk Roads
Transport Scotland is responsible.
Contact: 0141 2727100
transportscotland.gov.uk

But it’s still by a road

It's not by a road

Potential Contacts

Scottish Canals
scottishcanals.co.uk

Ministry of Defence Land
Contact the local base directly

Common Land
Contact the local council or private landowner

Forestry Land
Forestry Commission Scotland will be responsible
scotland.forestry.gov.uk

Ragwort by private road

8. Is the road privately owned?

The Scottish Government Guidance on How to Prevent the Spread of Ragwort (pdf) has full details of the actions that complainants should take.

When a potential problem is identified, the landowner/occupier should be contacted first. If the landowner/occupier fails to take any action to prevent the spread of ragwort or remove it where necessary, Scottish Government, Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID) can be contacted.

The SGRPID will take enforcement action under the Weeds Act 1959 where ragwort poses a high risk to horses/livestock or the production of conserved forage.

The relevant local Highway Authority is responsible.

Find your local authority’s details at cosla.gov.uk

Please wait while we complete your membership

Processing your details...