Visitors to Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common have been told not to pick any wild plants or flowers from the hill.

There have been a number of incidents recently where plants including ragwort have been picked and then left on the hill.

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Ragwort is a listed as an injurious weed and can be very poisonous to livestock.

It is kept under control on the site as part of a strict management plan. The plant is pulled and removed from Charlton Kings Common by the council ranger and volunteers. To ensure the balance is maintained some ragwort is left to grow on Leckhampton Hill Common which is not grazed. This ensures that the sites biodiversity equilibrium is maintained.

Ragwort loses its bitter taste after it has been picked making it more palatable for animals to eat, however it is still poisonous to them.

There has also been an increase in the number bags of dog waste left in bushes around the hill. All the nearby car parks have bins which residents can use including: Daisy Bank car park, Bridge car park, Salterley car park, and Brownstones car park. These are regularly emptied.

Wayne Sedgwick, senior community ranger for Cheltenham Borough Council, says: “We’d like to ask local residents and visitors to respect the hill and help us to take care of it when they visit.

“Please do not pick or remove any of the plants or flowers. We carefully manage the flora, fauna and grazing livestock under a strict regime. The area is listed as a site of special scientific interest partly due to the wild plants and wildlife found growing there and which we need to protect.

“Whilst we appreciate people picking up after their dogs, taking the waste away from the site would keep the area clean and tidy for everyone and bins are available in all of our car parks.”

Councillor Chris Coleman, cabinet member for clean and green, continues: “We are very lucky in Cheltenham to have such beautiful countryside and it’s important that we all take care to maintain it.”

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