Ragwort Raid and Wildflower Wander

A few of us met at Polly Joke car park on Saturday morning to pull some ragwort on Cubert Common before setting off after lunch to do a wildflower survey for Plantlife’s Wildflowers Count.

The ragwort is still in rosette form, but once we all knew what we were looking for we found quite a few to dig up in the morning. One of the advantages of removing the plant at this stage is that it we use fewer collection bags as it takes longer to fill them!

ragwort in rosette form

ragwort in rosette form

Our aim is to reduce the number of flowering ragwort, not to eradicate it. The plant is eaten by cinnabar moth caterpillars, they will eat it down to the ground and at flowering stage it is a great nectar source for many insects.

cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort

cinnabar moth caterpillars on ragwort

In the afternoon we walked from Polly Joke car park out on to the Kelseys, it was very windy on the headland! But with local botanist Ian Bennallick’s help we noted about 100 different plants, and that doesn’t include all the types of grasses.

ThriftBird's- foot trefoilRibwort plantainSpring squill

The flowers are only starting to show on some species, this year’s cold weather has meant they’re all a bit later this year. But we’re going back to remove more ragwort and carry out the Wildflowers Count survey again on Sunday 28 July, let me know if you can come along and help. However, should you wish to see a carpet of spring squill, its in flower now, on a number of coastal sites.

Sarah Stevens, Ranger, Tintagel to Holywell

11 thoughts on “Ragwort Raid and Wildflower Wander

  1. Hi Sarah,
    We live a few minutes walk form Ruzza, at the bottom of Cubert Common.
    During the last few weeks we have noticed hundreds of empty, I think, chrysalis’, and a curious empty charcoal coloured ” sac

      • simon says:

        Hi Sarah, Did you get the photo I sent of the mystery caterpillar etc?
        I’ve just been for a walk down at Ruzza. The first (Marsh?) orchids are just coming out, including a huge one close to the stream below Treago Farm.

      • nationaltrustranger says:

        Hi Simon, yes I did and emailed you back with info, but take it you didn’t receive it, don’t know why. Have emailed your other email address yesterday with the information, did you get it? If not please phone me in the office next week 01208 863821 and we’ll sort out getting all the information to you somehow. I will put the information on the blog next week as well though. Best wishes, Sarah Stevens, Ranger

  2. Sorry it jammed! I was trying to write….”sac”, up on top of Cubert Common. They belong, I think, to a black and brown furry caterpiller, of which we saw many up to November last year.
    How do we find out more ?
    Simon Pearson

  3. keith morcom says:

    re cubert common grass trimming last years trim and grazing the common really looked great and sure this years work is going to benefit it even more brilliant give yourself a pat on the back.

  4. Karen Barker says:

    I’m pretty sure the small blue star-like flower (the bottom one if the 4 shown above) is the same as I saw near Land’s End but I’m unable to identify it. Can you please help?
    Many thank
    Karen

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