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Public liability warning issued to farmers over one of Britain’s 'most dangerous plants'

The summer heatwave has brought another crop of burn injuries caused by one of Britain’s ’most dangerous plants’.

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Rural affairs specialists at Bruton Knowles say farmers and landowners need to beware a rise in the number of public liability cases if the invasive plant is not dealt with properly.


Matthew Peters, from the firm’s Gloucester office, said the better weather had accelerated plant growth and encouraged more people into the countryside.


“This is one of the most dangerous plants in the country and it thrives along paths and riverbanks where people are likely to be walking.


“The plant affects the body’s ability to protect the skin and causes serious burns, blisters and rashes. Children are particularly susceptible.


“This could trigger a rise in the number of public liability cases where the invasive plant has not been properly dealt with.”


Also known as giant cow parsley, Giant Hogweed can grow up to five metres tall.


Matthew said: “Plants and seedlings can be killed quickly and cheaply by using a herbicide application of glyphosate or, in the case of mature plants, by cutting the root but our advice to landowners is to stop the Giant Hogweed plant from producing seeds.


“If the landowner is aware that the plant is present, then the affected area needs to be cordoned off with signs informing the public. The worst thing to do is nothing, otherwise it could result in a hefty fine.”

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