Overgrown weeds injure another Brighton dog

Another Brighton dog has been injured by overgrown weeds, with barley grass seeds – flea darts – the culprit again.

Molly was injured by overgrown weeds in the Withdean and Westdene area of Brighton

The latest victim is Molly, a rescue dog from Westdene, who now wears a dog snood to protect her ears.

Her owner Adam Page bought the snood after taking Molly to the vet to remove a seed spear which became embedded in her ear after a walk around the streets of Withdean and Westdene.

Mr Page contacted the Local Democracy Reporting Service after seeing the story of Lily, the puppy from Woodingdean, whose owner spend hundreds of pounds on vet fees removing seeds from her paws.

In Molly’s case, it cost £300 to remove a barley grass seed from her ear because Coastway Vets, in Portslade, had to sedate her to removing it.

Mr Page said: “She was crying and shaking her head in pain. It was horrible to see.

“It happened on a road around where we live in Withdean/Westdene. Walking around the roads, these seeds are everywhere. And grass verges have not been cut, with weeds over the pavement and verges. It looks just awful.

“When it rains, the pavements become slippery. We never thought we would have to buy her a dog snood to cover her ears.

“After each walk, we have to double-check her ears and pull seed out of her fur and paws.”

Brighton and Hove City Council said that it had tried to recruit 28 seasonal staff to tackle the weeding but received few applications.

Lily was injured by weeds in Woodingdean

Green councillor Steve Davis, who represents Withdean ward, said last month that Brexit was to blame for recruitment issues, with hospitality, transport and the NHS also suffering.

He said: “Roughly 1.4 million EU citizens have left this country – and they’re never coming back.

“These people mow our verges, stack our shelves and look after our elderly citizens in care homes. It is a real struggle with recruitment.”

It is the third summer that pavement weeds have become an issue after councillors voted to stop using glyphosate weedkiller, sold commercially as Roundup, in 2019.

The council said that two teams of contractors had been focusing on weed removal while further efforts were made to recruit permanent workers.

Barley grass growing wild on pavements, as pictured in Westdene, poses a painful risk to pets – and particularly to dogs

Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty also said last month that council workers were using new low-vibration trimmers.

And, he added, staff at Cityclean, the council’s rubbish and recycling service, had been offered overtime to focus on weeding.

  1. Robert Pattinson Reply

    I know a lady at our complex that tripped up on weeds on the pavement. So i bet its happening loads of time. The council better get ready for claims.

  2. Ben Doyle Reply

    Brexit has nothing to do with the weeds taking over Brighton its just that the greens have to common sense

  3. Ivan lyons Reply

    Other towns & cities in Sussex have tidy pavements – nothing to do with Brexit

  4. Ann K Reply

    This happened to my cockapoo over the weekend- the dart was so deep in the ear that she had to be sedated twice! Costing over £600! Our vet suggested we should all send the bills to the council!!

  5. Peter Challis Reply

    How come other towns and cities in the area don’t have the problems with weeds?

    Perhaps they didn’t implement a ban on using perfectly safe Glyphosate based weedkillers without have determined a practical alternative?

    • David Jacobs Reply

      They are NOT perfectly safe!

      • Andrew Reply

        I’ve already told this guy about this he is now just a liar …

        • Peter Challis Reply

          Thank you for your libelous statement. I stand by what I posted.

          Are you by any chance part of the scaremongering Pesticide Action Network?

      • Peter Challis Reply

        Glyphosate based weedkillers, like all chemicals, ARE perfectly safe if usage instructions are followed.

        West Sussex have restarted spraying weedkiller on pavements and gutters using a 4×4 buggy as have several other towns and cities across the country.

        In agreement with neighbours I have started spraying weeds in our street. I just wait for dry windless days and keep off until the spray dries to stop spread to other areas.

        It is still legal to buy and use Glyphosate in the UK and EU and the claims of it being carcinogenic in the US have been removed.

    • Andrew Reply


      “According to EPA, glyphosate technical does not pose oncogenic risk at “relevant” levels of exposure, i.e. those levels likely to occur among members of the general public from “typical” dietary exposures.”

      Typical dietary exposure is not the same as employing someone full time to spray the chemical, it is not the same as children playing on a recently sprayed pavement. It is not the same as a pet walking on a recently sprayed pavement and tracking chemicals into a house.

      Please read this article!

      • Andrew Reply

        “The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”

      • Peter Challis Reply

        The article states that more research is needed.

      • Peter Challis Reply

        As with all chemicals, PPE should be provided if excessive exposure is likely. Again, follow the safety instructions, and don’t accept scaremongering misinformation from anti-pesticide activists.

      • Peter Challis Reply

        Seems they’ve also listened to eco-activists, but at least they still spray once per year.

        I hope they are measuring the effect on biodiversity to determine if it has worked, or like Brighton and Hove where proof was that one Green councillor had seen a hedgehog.

  6. Helen Reply

    Green councillor Steve Davis, who represents Withdean ward, said last month that Brexit was to blame for recruitment issues, with hospitality, transport and the NHS also suffering.

    And the month before that it was Covid and the month before that it was something else, and I’m sure next month it will be due the the extremely high temperatures we’ve suffered.

    I don’t believe a word from the ‘Greens’ Quick enough to find people to destroy the green wall and have people patrolling the seafront armed with realms of PCN’s to ‘fine’ anyone who has a BBQ, drops a piece of paper or has a wheel an inch over a white line.

    Other councils seem to be able to cope under the same conditions.

    No Steve, it’s not Brexit or Covid, it’s just sheer incompetence so man up and get it sorted.

    • Andrew Reply

      But you said it was COVID in the other article about this subject. when I said it was Brexit you were adamant is was COVID… I’m seeing a pattern here you and Peter Challis just straight up being lairs haha

      • Peter Challis Reply

        Wow – posting at 3.35am and anyone that disagrees with you is a liar (you must learn to spell) 🤣

      • Helen Reply

        I always had my doubts about your reading ability and your comprehension of the written word.

        Just happens I’ve just checked the article.

        Andrew 31 July 2022 at 5.28pm And Brexit is the reason.

        My comment: Helen 31 July 2022 at 10.00pm

        Brexit, I said if you read properly it played a part.
        Brexit is NOT the sole cause and suggesting this isn’t anything to do with Covid is just madness and seriously you need to think hard about this.

        I then gave reasons as to why covid had an effect on every business in the country.

        The fact the council employed people to destroy the ‘Green Wall’, fine people for having BBQ’s, Parking/Driving violations appears to have been missed.

        It seems to me and most intelligent people, our council will shout and scream that Brexit is the reason for their staff shortage, despite two years of covid to go along with it.
        Councils all over the country have faced the same problems yet manage to do what the TAX PAYER pays them to do.
        Problem Andrew, is our council find enough staff when it suits them, yet can’t be bothered on other things.

        No Andrew, not Brexit as a cause as you wrongly state, it’s BHCC who are just complete fools who think everybody is gullible like you.
        WHY have they not employed contractors if they can’t get their own ?
        It’s all to do with taking away the chemicals without an alternative, this since 2019, but don’t let the real facts get in the way.

  7. Al MacDiarmid Reply

    This is a bit silly. These seeds are everywhere, not just b&h. Our vet in lancing had five dogs in one day including our Shiba last week. By all means berate the council for weeds but these are a problem everywhere with the dry weathe, not just Brighton. And not just the pavement.

  8. Jon Reply

    When they implemented the policy a couple of years ago their solution to deal with overgrown streets was to employ cheap labour from Eastern Europe to spend their summer scraping weeds out of hundreds of miles pavements.
    The Greens are described as a progressives ?

  9. Peter Challis Reply

    Thank you for your libelous statement. I stand by what I posted.

    Are you by any chance part of the scaremongering Pesticide Action Network?

    • TP Reply
      • Peter Challis Reply

        I think they tried it and it didn’t work very well – hence the return to using hoes and strimmers.

        Neither scheme kills plants down to the roots and requires multiple uses each year.

  10. Mike Beasley Reply

    You have to take what CLLR Davis says with a pinch of salt , after his hilarious claims about the safety issues of the Aquarium Roundabout . He lives in world devoid of truth and reality

  11. Jake S Reply

    Let us remember also that increased overgrown streets (sorry – ‘rewilding’) , brings increased chance that ticks , possibly carrying Lyme disease, will come into contact with humans. Lyme disease can cause multiple organ failure in humans – but I guess that doesn’t matter to clowns like cllr Davis and cllr Jamie Lloyd .

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