By Bill Heaney

Up here in the Wild West that is Dunbartonshire, we just call it long grass, thistles, weeds, jaggy nettles and dandelions.
Down in the posh Borders, however, it’s known as bracken, but it’s just as much detested there as it is here.
Tory lady Rachael Hamilton MSP, who represents Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, was on about again it in the Scottish Parliament this week.
She asked: “Will the First Minister update the chamber on the Scottish Government’s actions to campaign for the approval of emergency use of Asulox for bracken control in Scotland,

Rachel Hamilton MSP, First Minister Humza Yousaf and Dame Jackie Baillie.

“Will he also commit to reversing the appalling decision to remove support for bracken control through the agri-environment scheme?
“If reinstated, it will improve biodiversity, protect heather with regard to pollination, and protect walkers and workers against Lyme disease, which the ticks carry?”
But First Minister Humza Yousaf told her: “As I have said previously, we are willing to look at the issue, but we are of course following the agreed process, which has been followed for many years.
“As a Scottish Government, we have provided a submission to the Health and Safety Executive. I think that we are waiting for other Governments across the United Kingdom to do similar.

“I will look at the issue, because it is an important issue that has been raised by many members right across the parliamentary chamber.

“We know about the potential risk of uncontrolled bracken. If there is an update from the Health and Safety Executive, I will ensure that Parliament is informed expeditiously.”

  • Just wondering as I report this matter if bracken will replace long grass in the West Dunbartonshire vernacular now that we have a Dame in our midst. Will Dame Jackie Baillie ask her Labour colleagues on the Council to get the grass cut? Or support the request for Asulox? Will she use her newly acquired sword of honour for that? There’s no better person to do that than Jackie. Editor

Leave a Reply