Report R03 *****

Problem. Ragwort in pasture
Where: Dorset. Church Farm, Rhyme Intrinseca, Sherborne
When: July 29th Aug 15th. 2001 (425 man-hours)
Status: Conventional. (Horse gallops & cattle pasture, Countryside Stewardship)
Area: 20.24 Hectares (50 acres). Flat tops & sloping fields
Detail: High level infestation / min. 3 plants to 1sq. metre / remove & burn.

This site was described as a ‘sea of yellow plants’. The job of removing and burning them before they cast their seed, was enormous, and completed between July 29th – 15th August. The student work-force of four, were experienced users of the L-D, and were lead by J. Trevelyan,. They camped on site.

This was ‘conventionally’ managed land, so the owner was permitted to use chemical sprays if he wished. It was used as a cattle pasture and horse gallops, which made this difficult.

Completing this job during the heat of summer, with the plants in flower and about to seed, was instructive. The heat combined with more than two weeks continuous pulling made the job arduous. Why not attack the worst of the problem in the winter ? The L-D tool allows ground-level rosettes to be pulled, without any bending. The ground is moist in the winter months, and the rosettes are made visible by grazing. We made the decision never again to start work on large infestations during the height of summer.

The cost of this job was £3962. (£79 per acre) This included the sale of 2 Lazy Dog Tools.

Photographs & drawings.