You know how we all go on about how there’s a law out there that says farmers should remove ragwort from their land or face the consequences?
Well beekeepers, read this and weep – the full list of ‘Noxious Weeds’ as specified by the Department of Agriculture is as follows:
"...Invasive Species & Noxious Weeds Ragwort, Thistle, Dock, Common Barberry, Male Wild Hop and Wild Oat are noxious weeds under the Noxious Weeds Act 1936 Invasive species include Rhododendron, Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam as well as the invading hardwood species e.g. Hawthorn, briars, furze/gorse, Elder and Willow...."
This is taken not directly from the 1936 Act, but from the Cross Compliance Handbook for farmers from the Department of Agriculture. Click here to download that disturbing document
I don’t know about you but it leaves me wondering whether to make a big noise about it or just keep quiet because rather a lot of those species – especially the natives – are vital to our bees and all those wild pollinators out there – for the moment anyway.
And here’s a thought – landowners are not allowed to remove a hedgerow unless they plant a replacement hedge first. Hmmm.
They are also not allowed to remove a line of trees across a field. Being as hawthorn and willow are categorised here not as trees but ‘invading hardwood species’ in the Cross Compliance Handbook – does that mean landowners can remove a row of hawthorns?
Where does that leave us?
Here are some links for you. The first two are particularly important if you want to understand the current wave of hedgerow mutilation and scrub destruction.
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