A concerned Hapton man is highlighting the dangers to human health of a toxic plant growing in Simonstone.
Farmer Graham MacGregor has warned that giant hogweed found annually in land behind the Department of Work and Pensions Centre in Simonstone Business Park, Blackburn Road, can cause severe skin burns.
The plant, which has white flowers, can reach over 3m (10ft) in height. Chemicals in its sap can make the skin sensitive to sunlight, which can result in blistering, pigmentation and long-lasting scars.
But the DWP deny that the plant is growing on their land.
A DWP spokesperson added: “We take all matters of health and safety at our premises very seriously, and a site audit has already taken place. It was found that the Hogweed is not rooted on DWP premises, and this matter is now being investigated by the local authority.”