Rogue plant can cause blindness

A ROGUE plant which has appeared in Cleckheaton can cause blindness.

The Giant Hogweed has invaded parts of the town and is spreading. It can grow up to six metres tall, has an umbrellashaped head of white flowers and has also been seen along Windy Bank Lane in Hightown.

The plant’s sap is highly caustic, meaning it can cause blisters, dermatitis and render skin so sensitive it burns in the sun.

Merely brushing against the plant could be enough to cause serious health problems. Sap residue can cause blindness if rubbed into the eyes. Wash sap off immediately, avoid direct sunlight and seek medical advice.

The plant originates in the Caucasus mountains but has spread around Europe, causing extensive damage to the whole continent's riverbanks, marshes and woodland.

Residents are advised to avoid all contact with the plant.

Anyone who sees one should contact Kirklees Direct on 01484 414700 and give details of its location.

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