Bog Ashpodel and "Saut"

Recently, bog asphodel has become more prevalent in the uplands, partly due to the management regimes put in place for agri-environment schemes.

Bog Asphodel is poisonous to both sheep and cattle, causing serious kidney problems and a photosensitive disorder ( called 'saut' in Cumbria).  The photosensitization causes various chemical reactions in the skin on exposure to the sun, resulting in tissue damage. It can be fatal. If caught early the animals can be saved.

If you have Bog Asphodel in your pastures you need to carefully consider your grazing regime to minimise the risk. If you are entering agri-environment or in an agri-environment scheme for pasture with bog asphodel present, you will need to discuss grazing arrangements, which could be part of your agri-environment agreement, with your Natural England project officer.

The NFU has asked Natural England to warn agri-environment applicants about the risks of Bog Asphodel to animal health.