Gorse Bales airlifted to save important wetlands

Gorse Bales airlifted to save important wetlands

Gorse Bales airlifted to save important wetlands

Gorse bales airlifted to help preserve lowland heaths

Royal Marines from Lympstone have organised the airlift of 100 bales of gorse as part of an operation to help safeguard rare lowland heaths in East Devon.  

The bales will be used to reinforce and protect important bog areas on the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, owned by Clinton Devon Estates, which have been seriously eroded over the winter due to the prolonged wet and icy conditions.

A Sea King helicopter from 848 Squadron Royal Navy, supported by Royal Marines from Lympstone will transport the bales to three different locations on the heaths.

The bogs are home to special flora and fauna such as insectivorous plants like Butterwort and Sundew which support rare wildlife and can only be found on the few remaining lowland heaths in Britain. Lowland heaths are now recognised as being rarer than tropical rainforests.

Commons Warden Bungy Williams said; "The bogs hold hundreds of thousands of gallons of water and this weather has caused the peat to become badly eroded. This means that the bogs turn into rivers and the plants simply get washed away. Without the plants, the wildlife cannot survive." 

He added; "We have harvested the gorse from the heaths and put it into bales and the Royal Marines will be helping us to move it to some of these hard to reach areas. We've used gorse in the past to help repair the bogs and it has worked successfully but this is the first time we've ever done an operation of this scale."

 The lowland heaths in East Devon are among just a few remaining in Britain. They are home to a number of rare birds such as Dartford Warblers and Nightjars as well as the special flora and fauna and the damsel fly.

 The unique characteristics of the heaths have to be continually managed to stop trees from re-establishing themselves and preventing gorses and bracken from taking over.  Equally important is keeping the wetland areas open and this work is currently being done by a herd of Devon Reds as part of a twelve month trial initiated by the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths Trust in conjunction with Natural England under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme.

 

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

to set out against the Scots, the King’s enemies and rebels

– Instructions given by Edward 1 to John de Clinton on 8th April 1298, prior to him leading the Royal army to victory at the Battle of Falkirk. As a direct result the Clinton Barony was formed on 22nd July 1299

We are trustees for life of the countryside

– 22nd Baron Clinton, 2002

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

…and the Lord Clinton was, by the whole Council, brought to the King’s presence, who after like thanks was given, was pleased that he should be made High Admiral of England and one of his Privy Council…

– Official record of appointment of 9th Baron Clinton as Lord High Admiral for life on 4th May 1550