Council slammed over ‘bonkers’ reason for banning daffodils in park



A council in Cornwall has been slammed over their ‘bonkers’ reason for not allowing daffodils to grow in a play park. The traditional yellow flowers have been banned over fears children will eat them.

Daffodils can be toxic if ingested, but local residents have slammed the decision saying that children ‘don’t eat the flowers, anymore than they would eat rubber from play equipment’. St Blaise Town Council, which covers the town of St Blazey, near St Austell, Cornwall, denied accusations from locals that it had been cutting down the flowers at the Old Roselyon Play Area.

The council said it had not removed any of the daffodils growing currently, but has said it will not be planting any more, reports Cornwall Live. Barry West, the chairman of the Roselyon Play Park Committee, said of the ban: “Are they going to put signs up saying don’t eat the daffodils next? This is totally bonkers.”

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He added: “There have always been daffs in the park. It used to be an old orchard and there must have been about 1,000 flowers. Most of them have now been cut down. And to say that it’s because they are toxic to children if they eat them is crazy.”

St Blaise Town Council has not said whether it is involving the police to find out who may be behind cutting down the flowers. Dr Mark Evans of the South West Health Protection Unit did confirm the toxicity of daffodils, saying: “Daffodils are toxic and severe vomiting and diarrhoea can occur if eaten by mistake. Although very unpleasant, most people will recover fully without treatment.”

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St Blaise Town Council confirmed its decision not to have any new daffs in the foreseeable future for health and safety reasons saying it came after some recent play park inspection training. Town clerk Gaynor Mamo said that if daffodils have been cut down it was nothing to do with the local authority.

She said: “The daffodils at Polgover/Old Roselyon Play Area are still there.” She did confirm that no more daffodils would be planted in the future and the area where the daffs are now will be cut down at the end of the season. She said: “After recent play inspection training we were advised not to have daffodils in play areas as all parts of the daffodil can be poisonous.

“I brought this to the attention of the town council who said no more daffs should be planted but those that were there before the land was returned to us would stay. The daffs are sporadic over a grassed area and once the flowers have died the grass will be cut.”

Only last month when Cornwall basked in glorious spring sunshine, the park looked beautiful in yellow and white as the daffodils bloomed. Mr West added: “It was a former orchard and a place where generations of adults and children alike have walked through and enjoyed. Having the daffodils there was always a joy in the spring as it was again this year.

“It is uplifting and good for the mental health and well-being of the community, the elderly, the infirm, families, carers and children who enjoy the splash of color and fragrance.” Mr West added: “I’m just bewildered by their decision.

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“This the craziest thing I have heard. Children don’t eat daffodils. The community will be really sad and disappointed when daffodils bring so much joy to so many.

“The ivy growing along the wall is poisonous. Eating the rubber from the playpark climbing frame is poisonous. Where do you stop?”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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