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Monday, June 28, 2004

BBC Fest, with eBay special mention

I know more about ragwort than I ever knew there even was to know. After an hour of learning about it, my theories are as follows:
  • It is the responsibility of animal owners to keep their animals safe. Thus, if horses are poisoned by ragwort, it is the responsibility of the horse owners to make sure their fields do not contain any ragwort.

  • There are 30 species of insect which eat only ragwort, including the (something) caterpillar. These would presumably become extinct if ragwort was eliminated. This would also cause a problem for the animals which eat those insects. So eliminating ragwort would have a rebound effect on many other species too.

  • Mass elimination of ragwort would involve use of many chemicals and herbicides which would affect many other plants as well, not to mention leaving toxins in the earth for many years affecting future plants, and all animals which may eat those future plants.

  • Nature generally has its own ways of keeping things in balance. I don't think you can eliminate a whole plant species and expect the balances within nature to maintain themselves.

  • If there is a risk of ragwort in the hay that your horse is eating, then it is again the horse owner's responsibility to be sure they are buying their hay from a source which doesn't have ragwort.

  • A man called Dr Knottenbelt tasted ragwort and said it tastes horrible but when it starts to rot the bitter taste goes which is when horses will eat it. (No point in telling you that, just that he ate the stuff, which is weird.)

Simple, surely. Why don't I rule the world? If I can formulate theories on a random wild plant after a one hour radio 4 programme, I can do anything!

Slightly disappointing pics from Glasto where a few of my friends were. The BBC usually does much more impressive and creative photography, but you can't win 'em all I guess.

This On the Beach selection, however, shows some fabulous photography and almost unreal colours.

This is a fantastic eBay "about me" page full of really bad advice for buyers and sellers on eBay.

Interesting programme about getting a healthy diet on a low income is here. You can listen to it from the site if interested.

I certainly need some tips!


Anonymous said...

Actually ragwort isn't the problem it is made out to be. There is a campaign against it largely by certain agricultural interests and those selling iffy ragwort controls.

More more information see
ragwort facts