Causeway Coastal Route

Poisonous Flora on Beaches

Some of our wild plants and mushrooms are poisonous to humans and animals, and there have been cases in the past where people, domestic animals and pets have become ill after eating some of these plants and mushrooms. 

One of these poisonous plants is Hemlock Water Dropwort, a relatively common plant which is native to Ireland.  It usually grows along river banks and has been mistaken by some people as celery. In addition, the roots of the Hemlock Water Dropwort or ‘poisonous parsnip’ as it is sometimes known, can sometimes be found washed up on beaches, and is potentially dangerous to dogs if eaten or chewed on. The root looks like a parsnip but it must be noted that many roots of plants look like parsnips and it is extremely difficult to identify a plant solely from its root.

It is important therefore, not to pick any wild plants and mushrooms unless you are absolutely certain you can identify the species, and be vigilant as to the types of material your pets are picking up when out walking in the countryside and on beaches especially at the mouths of rivers.

Please remember to check the weather forecast and sea conditions before visiting beaches.