North Devon Biosphere Invasive Control Projects

In 2016, North Devon Biosphere volunteer Phil Metcalf worked on establishing the presence/absence of Himalayan Balsam in the Biosphere using a combination of existing records and community feedback at a parish level.

He sent out a letter to each Parish  and also contacted local people/groups that use local rivers, e.g local fishing clubs.

A presentation was produced which shows the results of Paul’s work and contains a number of maps that illustrate the known and confirmed distribution of the species in the North Devon Biosphere, but also an assessment of how possible it might be to reduce its spread.

Based on this work and a general concern about Non-Native Invasive Species amongst members of the Biosphere partnership, there is a policy and target on NNIS in the Biosphere Reserve Strategy to 2024 http://www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/what-we-do.html.  A Partnership decision has also been taken to seek to include measures to address invasive species issues within more wide ranging catchment projects as they develop.

Another project run through the North Devon Biosphere included a number of highly successful parrots feather removal volunteer days at a pond on Hatherleigh Moor. These volunteer days were run through the community engagement programme within the Biosphere’s Defra funded phase of the North Devon Nature Improvement Project.

They were so successful that the Moor Management Group has now agreed to take on the existing long term management of the parrots feather in the pond. Some before and after photographs and further weblinks to the project can be located here.

Hatherleigh Moor Pond infested with Parrott’s Feather (2013)

Hatherleigh Moor Pond after volunteer Parrott’s Feather removal (2015)

For more information about the North Devon Biosphere, please visit: http://www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/