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Warnings over poisonous plants flourishing in the West Country

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 31, 2014

ragwort
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Britain's hot summer has seen a boom for flowers - but also for poisonous species, experts have warned.

Scientists say the climate has seen a rise in the number of plants which use harmful chemicals to protect themselves.

Although humans tend to avoid digesting plants, things like ragwort and foxgloves can cause problems for animals who consume them unknowingly.

Experts say other species to be wary of which have had a good year include the death cap mushroom and yew berries.

Poisonous plants can be incredibly harmful to both humans and animals through both digestion and skin contact.

Chrissy Mason, an ecologist at Dartmoor National Park Authority in Devon, said: "All plants have flourished this year, but my advice would be to stay clear of anything suspicious, and be vigilant and sensible.

"If you are concerned about something you come across, speak to the landowner. Poisonous plants are a regular occurrence and can be hazardous to both humans and grazing animals."

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