Horse society warns of ragwort danger to Flintshire ponies

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Horse lovers have raised fears about poisonous ragwort growing on the dunes in Flintshire, which are part of a conservation project.

Ponies are being used to graze Gronant Dunes and Talacre Warren sites, which are of special scientific interest.

However, British Horse Society (BHS) members want the ponies removed or the plants pulled up and destroyed.

Ragwort can cause liver damage in horses and ponies and the BHS is running a campaign to highlight the problem.

But scientists see the native plant as an important contributing factor in supporting insect life including the likes of butterflies and moths.

Press officer for north-east Wales at the BHS Rose Brooke told BBC News she has contacted the council about the problem which is causing horses to die.

Senior countryside ranger Mike Taylor added: "The grazing project is new and a trial to see if the rare dune plant communities are affected by grazing which is deemed to be the best means by which to manage the ecosystem."

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