Dad says 'God forbid' after what he spotted in Morrisons car park

A Morrisons store
-Credit: (Image: PA)


A gardener raised the alarm after spotting a disturbing plant in a Morrisons car park

Steven Tuffy, told the ECHO how giant hogweed has sprouted up just a short distance from the parent and child car parking spaces in Morrisons on Baxters Lane, St Helens. He said he first noticed the hogweed on May 15 and reported it immediately.

Mr Tuffy said he feared for shoppers using the car park, after being "burnt" by the hazardous plant himself years ago. He said: "I have seen it before years ago. I got underneath it to take a picture - I do photography - I didn't touch it and as I walked away I felt like I had been nettled. I had a week off work and my hand was burning for weeks.

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"It was unbelievable, it was like I had my hand deep fried. I was 40 at the time and I was physically nearly crying, I was in that much pain of a night with it. And that was from not even touching it - my hand burned for weeks."

Mr Tuffy said: "I told the manager straight away, I said 'this needs sorting' to make it safe. I can't emphasise how dangerous it is and the severity of it.

"Two days later it was still in the car park in the blazing hot sun, apparently when the sun flares up so does the burn [from the plant] - and it can do for up to seven years.

"Children visit the area, I can't imagine how many people visit every day. God forbid if anything happened."

A spokesperson for Morrisons said: "We want to reassure our customers that we take this matter very seriously and can confirm that a professional team has now treated the area."

A spokesperson for St Helens council said: "Environmental health officers have been in touch with the landowner and we understand they have arranged for treatment of the plants by a contractor."

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