This site has been written to inform the public of the true scientific data surrounding ragwort.
It exists to balance the hysteria generated in the British press.
Whilst ragwort is of course toxic, it is only one of a great many toxic plants and the stories that have been
published do not accurately reflect what is known from the international scientific literature . Many false
claims are made about this plant, often when investigated you find there is a vested interest, selling ragwort
controls of questionable value,
or maybe using the hysteria to help raise an organisation's public profile.
Other people, naturally worried about animal cruelty have been convinced by the false stories and lacking the background to determine the truth are genuinely, but unnecessarily worried. This site should serve to inform the public as to the facts in a rational, informative manner. This enables land managers to take
rational decisions about ragwort without falling victim to rumour and falsehoods.
The situation with information about ragwort on the internet is often extremely bad. False information
and inaccuracy abounds. There are even local government websites which give wrong advice about the law.
Copies of the relevant legislation with regards to ragwort are available on this site so that readers
can be absolutely sure of the facts.
The site represents a synthesis of what is known about ragwort in relation to the false information that
has been promoted, providing answers to common questions and debunking common myths. This site does have
a particular view point on ragwort. It says that it is not the problem often claimed but that view is
arrived at by rational analysis of the data sources not by just repeating urban legends and old wives tales.
There are a number of other sources of information available on the internet where the webmasters have
independently come to the same conclusion such as the website of Buglife, the Invertebrate Conservation Trust,
who are not connected with this site but who have done their own independent search of the scientific
literature and have come to the same in inescapable conclusions.
Whenever possible the actual references to the scientific research on the subject are provided so that
of the information can be judged in a scientific context.
The concern is that unnecessary overreaction to ragwort causes ecological damage by encouraging
agricultural intensification and unnecessary destruction of other
The site does not say that ragwort control is unnecessary only that control should be based on a
rational scientific approach and aimed where the science says there is an actual threat.
This means that control is largely unnecessary where there is no direct contact with animals, and
even then the danger is overplayed in the press.
It is very easy to create hysteria about ragwort, those not familiar with scientific methods
can often be misled into believing that it poses a much greater threat than it does. This
site uses science to correct the wild stories that often appear and encourages readers to do their
own research on ragwort.