Weed leaves walker with horror burns

The burns caused by hogweed in Billinge.
The burns caused by hogweed in Billinge.

RAMBLERS are being warned not to walk through patches of potentially poisonous wild flowers after a man suffered horrific burns to his legs.

The 35-year-old, who did not wish to be named, was making his way along the footpath in Billinge Hill when he walked through a patch of common hogweed,

After suffering serious blisters to his legs and swollen feet, he went to hospital and was treated for burns.

He said: “I think the plant is rife all over the borough. My burns are very painful and I dread to think what it would be like if a child comes into contact with them.

“From what the hospital have said, it can be lethal if ingested in anyway so I have to go back for blood tests to make sure it’s not in my system.

“At first I was concerned the plant may have been hemlock, as when I was a young lad, I remember being told not to go near it or to break the stems as they have poison inside them.

“I just wanted to make people aware of these things as what may seem like an innocent plant can be deadly or cause burns as I have experienced. I also think that the councils should take responsibility and eradicate them altogether.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Wildlife Trust (LWT) confirmed the plant is common in the Billinge countryside.

Alan Wright said: “Common hogweed is widespread. It is generally found on woodland edges, roadside verges and waste ground. Common hogweed can cause skin irritations, which arise come when sap is released from broken stems. But other people may react differently.”