Mervyn Newman, the project officer for the Devon water vole recovery project at East Devon Council organised a Himalayan Balsam Pulling Party and today a team of volunteers from our own staff went along to East Axnoller Farm, one of the Sanctuary’s farms, to give a helping hand.
East Devon District Council has received funding from the SITA Trust, through the Landfill Communities Fund, for a three year project to encourage the natural re-colonisation of East Devon’s rivers by water vole.
The Himalayan Balsam plant is non-native and very invasive which is spoiling the water vole habitat. Although the plant is not poisonous, it is fast growing and can be controlled by pulling to prevent it spreading further downstream.
As the River Axe rises at East Axnoller Farm in Dorset and flows west then south through Axminster to join the English Channel at the town of Axmouth, the control of the Himalyan Balsam needs to be controlled to prevent it being dispersed further downstream.