Tackling the alien invasion

New film shows battle to protect East Devon’s river courses from invasive weed.

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Tackling the alien invasion

A new web video by Clinton Devon Estates has been released on YouTube showing how local volunteers have been battling an invasive weed that is choking East Devon’s river courses.

Royal Marines from the Commando Training Centre at Lympstone are featured alongside members of the Otter Valley Association and 20 staff from Clinton Devon Estates, stripping armfuls of Himalayan balsam from the banks and tributaries of the River Otter in an attempt to stop it from spreading and smothering other vegetation.

In the film, Dr Sam Bridgewater, Nature Conservation Manager for Clinton Devon Estates, explains how Himalayan balsam has become a major weed problem since being introduced by Victorian gardeners to the UK in the 1830s.  It is currently the focus of a nationwide programme of eradication.

In a race against time, East Devon volunteers have been working on the tributaries of the River Otter, pulling the weed by hand before each plant matures and disperses hundreds of seeds up to seven meters away.  

The two minute video can be viewed via this link: http://goo.gl/8W9P0 or accessed via the video library on the Clinton Devon Estates website.

If you are interested in joining future volunteer working parties, please email Dr Sam Bridgewater at [email protected]


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

Do what you can to elevate your profession. It is an honourable one

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892