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Giant Hogweed?

(15 Posts)
Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 16-Jul-15 15:57:55

These monster plants are taking over a footpath leading to a school where I work. My work mates garden backs on to it and he has them too. They are taller than the local busses which are 10 feet high!
His dog dashed into them and is now being treated for bald patches and what look like burns. Are these Hogweed? What does he do if they are?
Thanks guys

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 16-Jul-15 15:59:17

I don't work in the school sorry I work in this area. Clear that up.

TeaPleaseLouise Thu 16-Jul-15 16:02:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 16-Jul-15 16:08:03

It's a retail park next to a railway line with a footpath leading to the local school alongside it. There are around 40 of these monster plants there! I've seen kids cutting through there during term time. I will email the council bit am sure the retail park is private. How nasty are these things? Pal is worried about his poor dog. It's lost a big chunk of fur off of its face and needed burn cream sad

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 16-Jul-15 16:11:27

I wish the picture did it justice. That's the trees below it! And a full sized lamp post! I've never seen such a massive plant.

shovetheholly Thu 16-Jul-15 17:10:41

It could be. Hogweed and Angelica are both really large umbellifers, but that does look more like hogweed to me. It likes quite wet soil normally.

It's the sap that does the damage, so if you don't touch them, it's fine. For absolutely obvious reasons, though, they shouldn't be anywhere near a school. My understanding, though, is that you can't force landowners to do anything about them legally (though there may be a very strong moral argument along the lines of 'Imagine how this will play if a child gets burned badly and it emerges that you knew all about the infestation and did nothing'). It's worth getting in touch with the school and the council to see what can be done quickly, ideally before those flowerheads set seed and spread the problem further. (Sadly, funding cuts may be one reason why we are suddenly seeing this story appear).

A bit of awareness-raising in the local community might not go amiss, either. I do think it can be an amazing experience for older children to be taught to recognise very dangerous plants. We can make gardens as safe as you like, but they still will encounter nature at some point, even if they aren't the outdoorsy type. Learning to recognise things like nettles, wild parsley, hogweed, and learning NOT to eat stuff off bushes or any kind of mushroom without a trusted adult's guidance is really important.

Human skin is very sensitive to UV after exposure. If dog skin is the same, your poor friend's pet may need a light summer coat!

MewlingQuim Thu 16-Jul-15 17:20:51

I thought the council helped to get rid of giant hogweed, it is an invasive non-native like japanese knotweed, as well as poisonous. Probably one of those services cut by austerity, though <sigh>

shovetheholly Thu 16-Jul-15 17:34:48

I think councils will act if it's on public land, but it's not one of those plants where they can enforce action on private land. (I could be wrong).

I think there is a bit of a cuts story here, to do with rivers and waterways trusts, who have been very vocal about the problems that this plant is creating for them and the impossibility of dealing with it within current budgets.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 16-Jul-15 17:44:10

Thanks for all your help. I've emailed the council and am waiting for a response. There is a small river running along the line of the path so I think that's helping them spread. My friend is all for raising awareness as he also has a ds who thankfully is old enough to understand it's dangerous! Still shocked at the poor dog though .

Tobiasfunke Thu 16-Jul-15 18:04:00

Yup that looks like giant hogweed to me.

www.paulkirtley.co.uk/2015/how-to-identify-giant-hogweed-heracleum-mantegazzianum

If you get the sap on your skin thing is to wash if off immediately and then cover the area up so the sun can't activate the chemicals.

It's expensive and difficult to get rid of so I can imagine cuts to council budgets can't have helped.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Thu 16-Jul-15 20:30:05

Thank you tobiasfunke that's it! I will share the link! They're in a retail park next to a school the place is full of kids! People need to know to stop kids/dogs running into it. Awful things....never seen this many in the west of Scotland before.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Sat 18-Jul-15 12:28:41

Update. No responsibility has been taken by the local council or anyone else contacted about the Hogweed. Unfortunately the bad weather ( wind and rain ) we had here yesterday has broken several of the plants and they are now lying draped across the footpath and broken stems and leaves are strewn across it too. It's inevitable now that someone will brush up against it. I thought about putting a little sign at the footpath entrance.

lilacblossomtime Sat 18-Jul-15 12:34:03

Yes put up a sign it can leave nasty burns. Maybe contact the school so they can let parents know.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Sat 18-Jul-15 13:16:42

I will lilac thank you.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven Tue 28-Jul-15 13:02:52

Well it happened. Just a couple of miles from this big cluster of Hogweed ( along the watercourse ) at Loch Lomond, a little girl suffered horrible burns to her hands and arms after grabbing the big stem of the plant. It made the news ( don't know how to link but Google has it ) and is online. It's now going to be dealt with apparently. The whole area is infested and it's still spreading. Shame as it's an area of outstanding natural beauty and these things have put people off walking. We have postponed a planned camping trip with DD to the loch side. sad poor kid.

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