Wilderness Warning

Poison Hemlock (Conium Maculatum)Please stay on the beaten path when visiting the Hanwell Meadows or similar open spaces.

However, if you must enter the tick growth right and left of the path, please be aware that a myriad of insects including ticks and midgets will be waiting for you, supported by brambles, thistles and a particularly vicious breed of nettles, growing on generally uneven ground dotted with hidden rabbit holes to challenge every part of you.

You can face these challenges at small risk of pain and blood, but here’s one you should definitely not try out:

Poison Hemlock (Conium Maculatum) [Wikipedia]

We have quite a lot of it in the meadows, currently growing as tall as a grown person. It is very poisonous and even small amounts of leaf, root, stem or sap can kill an adult person. So, do not touch it, or if you do, wash and don’t bring your hands or other areas which were in contact with the plat near your mouth, eyes, nose.

Do not panic though. The plants do not actively attack visitors and the Wild West of London is still a fairly safe place to be out and about, but we feel that you should know about this particular danger.

Did I mention that it is best to stay on the beaten path?

Staying on the path is your safest option and your highest chance for an enjoyable walk over the meadows, and also allows all the wildflowers and wildlife to flourish. Most of it is rather nice and best looked at rather than trampled upon.