Alan Graham made a great post on the home page encouraging all anglers to get plucking ……. Himalayan Balsam!
So why and how?
The river is blighted by two principal invasive plant species ……….. Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. On the upper river the main problem are isolated but significant stands of Japanese Knotweed which we hope we can deal with through the Fisheries Trust Finns Project or if necessary with our own resources.
From Vicars Bridge downstream while there are areas of Japanese Knotweed (some of which were treated by the Ochils Landscape Partnership) the main problem is Himalayan BalsamWhile the flowers are a fabulous source of nectar for honey production it is highly invasive, exclude traditional bankside plants but providing no real root structure to protect the banks from erosion in spate.
The Association work parties expend enormous energy each year trying to cut as much of the infestation down before it has time to seed. There are isolated pockets of Himalayan Balsam particular tight to the banks (away from the mower and strimmers) were our anglers could make a huge contribution by plucking any Himalayan Balsam plants they come across ………. just ten minutes on every trip by every angler could make a huge difference.
Waiting for a rise two years ago I came across this stand of Himalayan Balsam (downstream of Rackmill) in the early spring:
Literally five minutes of plucking later:
Deeply satisfying …….. the joy is there are virtually no roots so it is very easy to pluck
Grab the plant close to the ground and simply pluck. Throw the plant into a heap well above the river (it’s high moisture content ensures it rots quickly). There is no real effort involved and you get the satisfaction of knowing having expended hee-haw energy you have made a real contribution to the River Devon’s health and the work of the Association
Now is the perfect time to get plucking!