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Farming Today This Week

Invasive animals and plants are costing the UK almost £2 billion a year to tame or kill according to the Environment Agency. Charlotte Smith finds out how farmers are dealing with them and protecting their crops and animals from these pests.

At Lower Smite Farm, owned by the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, it's a constant battle with alien invaders. From non-native ladybirds to the original invasive pest - rabbits (introduced by the Romans) - low cunning and quick action is needed to keep them away from the native flora and fauna.

Among the alien species being targeted in the UK are mink. It's estimated there are around forty thousand in the countryside, the animals having been released or escaped from fur farms. They are a particular problem in Scotland where they effect the salmon and grouse industries. Farming Today meets conservationists in Inverness who are laying traps to reduce their numbers.

A trip to a National Trust property in Norfolk illustrates the difference between 'good' rhododendrons and the 'bad' varieties which can poison the soil; and in Devon, one of the most damaging invasives, Himalayan Balsam, is cleared from the Devon Wildlife Trust's Dunsford Reserve.

Presenter, Charlotte Smith; Producer, Angela Frain.

Release date:

27 minutes

Last on

Sat 21 May 2011 06:30