Public Footpaths and Bridleways, Nuisances to report to Sedgemoor

Nuisances to Report to Sedgemoor 

Any premises in such a poor state
  • Fumes
  • Gases
  • Dust
  • Accumulations – eg refuse in garden
  • Animals
  • Insects
  • Invasive weeds


Report noxious weeds to Sedgemoor or Somerset County Council
Under the Noxious Weeds Act 1959 SCC are responsible for controlling certain noxious weeds, including ragwort. This has to be removed where it is reported as causing a nuisance to highway users or adjoining landowners.
Other invasive species being treated in Somerset are Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam and Giant Hogweed. 
Common ragwort
Highly poisonous to cattle, horses and other animals. It is not harmful to humans,, but when handling you should wear gloves and a mask (remove heads first). This weed is a stout ragged plant which can grow to a height of 1 metre. It has long thin toothed leaves which are green on the top and have a whitish underside. It also has large clusters of yellow flowers measuring approximately 2cm across. 
Japanese Knotweed
or Himalayan Knotweed 
A highly vigorous and hardy weed which can grow almost anywhere. It grows in clumps and can reach a               
height of 3 metres.  It has a thick bamboo like stem which has a red and green pattern. Its leaves are
light green, broad and triangular in shape. It can also have small white flowers.
You don’t have to remove Japanese knotweed from your land, but you could be prosecuted or given
a community
protection notice for causing a nuisance if you allow it to spread onto anyone else’s property.
Himalayan balsam  
Often found on river banks, growing up to 2 metres in height. Each plant lasts for one year and dies at the end of the growing season. It has:
– reddish coloured stems, dark green, lance-shaped leaves with jagged edges
– flowers from June to October, – large, brightly coloured flowers that are usually in variable shades from purple to pale pink, around 2,500 seeds per plant each year, – explosive seed pods that can throw seeds over 6 metres away from the plant
Giant hogweed 
(each red/white segment 50 cm) You should take great care when identifying giant hogweed. Contact with the plant, particularly the sap, can lead to severe blistering and scarring. Giant hogweed closely resembles native cow parsley or hogweed. It can take four years to reach its full height of 3 to 5 metres and flower.  It has:
– has a reddish purple stem with fine spines that make it appear furry like a stinging nettle, has hollow stems, has spotted leaf stalks, has leaves up to 1.5 metres wide, flowers in June and July, has flower heads that are usually 50 centimetres wide, each flower head is capable of producing 50,000 seeds every year, has seeds that can stay in the soil for several years before they develop
Telephone:  0300 303 7806


Neospora Abortion is now the most commonly diagnosed cause of abortion in cattle and is a serious concern for UK farmers.
It can be caused by cattle ingesting the protozoan parasite Neospora Caninum which is carried by infected dogs and excreted in their faeces.  Other dogs can also become infected when they sniff where dogs have previously been, thus continuing the cycle.  Once a cow has become infected there is no cure, she regularly aborts without carrying a calf to term and has to be destroyed to minimise the chances of her infecting the rest of the herd.  Once a dog has it, treatment is unreliable unless caught in the very early stages and they continue to spread it via faeces to other animals.
With your help the risk of cattle and other dogs becoming infected can be significantly reduced by ensuring that all your dog’s faeces are picked up when walking in the countryside.  Please remember to carry a litter bag with you and take it to your nearest dog litter bin for disposal.
Please adhere to ‘The Countryside Code’ and help protect the countryside and the animals that live in it.
A new leaflet entitled ‘Enjoy the countryside responsibly with your dog’ is available to view on the NFU website.  To view or download the leaflet visit
Thank you from the farming community for your help in protecting our beautiful British countryside together with the health and well-being of our livestock.
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