Ragwort being left unchecked

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From: EW Nicklas, Northgate, Cottingham, Hull.

WHEN I was a young man working on a farm in the 1930s the obnoxious ragwort was a notifiable weed. The then Ministry of Agriculture could, and did, order its removal.

This eradication policy continues on well-run estates, as you will note on Lord Metheringham’s estate in North Yorkshire and the Faversham estates in Lincolnshire.

However, if you drive on the Hull to York road you can see this problem gets worse each year. There are blocks and blocks of ragwort.

It is lethal to horses and cattle and there is no antidote. I understand that more than a thousand horses a year suffer an agonising death from this scourge.

Milking time memories

From: Ronald Marchant, Dulverton Hall, Esplanade, Scarborough.

dr Darren Croft says “cows are social animals that form important group structures” (Yorkshire Post, July 30).

When I was a student I spent summers on a farm. Going down to bring in the herd of cows for milking at six in the morning, I found it was always the same cow on the other side of the hedge.

Cows have their own personalities and some know where the grass is greener.

Hollande seeks wage linkage

From: Arthur Quarmby, Underhill, Holme, Holmfirth.

My French son-in-law tells me that their new socialist President is planning to re-impose the 20:1 regulation on public bodies – namely that no official shall be paid more than 20 times the minimum wage.

This regulation used to apply but got abandoned during the boom years, when top officials’ pay rose up to 100 times the minimum rate.

President Hollande would like this 20:1 ratio to apply to private companies also, but can only hope that shareholder pressure may move things in that direction.