The Weeds Act 1959


Ragwort, love it then pull it up.

Under the Weeds Act 1959 the Secretary of State may serve an enforcement notice on the occupier of land on which injurious weeds are growing, requiring the occupier to take action to prevent the spread of injurious weeds. The Weeds Act specifies five injurious weeds: Common Ragwort, Spear Thistle, Creeping of Field Thistle, Broad leaved Dock and Curled Dock.

So says defra, Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

We have quite a crowd of guests here for the Summer Training Period. Each Wednesday morning for the next three weeks the monks and guests have the chance to join in a Community Work. Today we tackled the Thistles and Ragwort which are covering the fields above the monastery. None of us have ever seen so many thistles on the property and now I see we have injurious weeds. Indeed we do, lots of ’em!

I started with an ‘off with their heads’ attitude swinging away with a hoe. Quite soon I reverted to a more contemplative approach. They may be weeds, they may be injurious weeds however they too have the Buddha Nature just like you and me.

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4 thoughts on “The Weeds Act 1959”

  1. He ‘may’ serve an enforcement notice eh? I wonder when the last time was that he did that …

    Surely those ‘weeds’ do actually have to injure other beings to be ‘injurious’? Are they putting any livestock at risk? Or are they just adding to a rapidly thickening layer of perennials that will in turn nurture woodier plants in the slow evolution of a ‘climax’ ecosystem?

    Dunno. I’m not a botanist. But we do like LAWS in Britain, no-one else does it quite like us. Pass a good law and ‘problem solved’ There’s an echo of the sad case of Shambo the bullock lurking in the Weeds Act 1959 …

  2. Yeah! Dogen said something about weeds in the Genjo-Koan, “while we adore flowers they wither [and] weeds grow strong….”
    One person’s weed is another person’s pretty flower.
    I have beed cultivating some pretty yellow flowers in my back yard garden for years. Then someone told me they are weeds. They grow freely on wasteland – brownfield sites. Really??
    Like Iain said…..

  3. Humans are causing for more injury to the planet then ragwort. Are *we* really the ‘injurous weeds’ in all this? If it’s a choice between a ragwort plant and me, how do I decide honestly? How do we approach that question compassionately?

  4. Errr….the direction I was heading with this post was towards exercising compassion and acceptance for all things. Just thought I’d mention that just in case the main point was lost in the wash. So to speak.

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