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Take care over what you pick
I WAS slightly alarmed by the suggestion in The Press of September 14 that it’s okay to forage for Tansy plants along York’s River Ouse.
For a start the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 is quite clear that depending on the location this is illegal; Plantlife, the national charity, explains this on its website.
Secondly, along the River Ouse, Tansy is host to the nationally very rare Tansy Leaf Beetle (Chrysolina Graminis), which can now only be found along a stretch of the river up and down from York. The Press recently reported the planting of the plant in Museum Gardens to help preserve the beetle. Thirdly, Tansy contains a number of toxins which may have unpleasant effects on humans.
Having been planting Tansy near the Ouse for more than 20 years to conserve a very rare beetle species, the last thing I want is for someone to pick it and poison themselves.
Mick Phythian, Monkton Road, York.
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