The Common Ragwort controversy

Today has been botany day number three.  I need to change the name as I didn’t identify many plants, well five (and a very exciting Jelly lichen).  It was sunny and the summer (what summer?) will soon be over so I thought I’d look for mini beasts.

Around the back of the labavan is a small strip of land we leave to nature.  Here lives the most popular plant in the garden, a Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea).  It was absolutely teeming with Hover flies, Bees, Beetles, Bugs and other mini beasts.  I don’t know how many times I went behind the back of the labavan with the bug pot but it will have confused some of the neighbours, if they were watching.  Every time I looked there was something different. I stopped and had my tea after 13 species.  If you added up all the time I was actually looking at the Ragwort is was probably only about 20 minutes.

Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea)

Most of you will know how controversial Ragwort is.  OK it does cause genuine harm to horses and cattle if it gets in their hay.  However, I feel it’s the Badger of the plant world.  Let’s not get hysterical please.  It is a native plant with many invertebrate species totally dependant on it.  The Buglife website sums it up well.

In total 3 Chapel Terrace now has 64 plant and fungi species, 44 mini beasts and 35 birds and mammals recorded.  That’s 143 living types of thing.  MASSIVE!

I’ve had a lot of fun today and John killed a record number of Lesser House Flies while he was looking after the kids ( I made him do the hoovering!)



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