Wildlife Survey Volunteer - River Barle Invasive Species Volunteer

Main Activity:         

The River Barle is nestled in a beautiful Barle Valley that stretches from Dulverton to Simonsbath.  The river is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is recognized as being extremely important to spawning salmon, trout, as well as kingfishers, otters and many fungi, lichens and algae.  Unfortunately, there are a number of invasive species in and around the river, including the Signal crayfish, Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed, which pose a threat to the river’s native wildlife.


We are looking for volunteers to help us protect the river’s ecosystem by controlling the invasive species along this river.


There are a number of different tasks for you to assist us with including -


  • Trapping and controlling crayfish numbers around Withypool and Lanacre
  • Mapping invasive plants along the whole length of the river
  • Pulling up the shallow rooting Himalayan Balsam along stretches close to Tarr Steps and Withypool.



The Barle Valley, in and around Withypool.


Time Commitment:


There are opportunities for -

  • Regular volunteers
  • 1-2 week student placements (over 18’s only as it involves some loan working)
  • Various tasks can be done on an ad hoc basis



The project is ongoing but due to the nature of the work much of it is done in the summer months.


Skills/Ability needed

Able to walk on riverside paths where the ground can be uneven

Enjoy working outdoors

With Crayfish volunteering you are likely to have to work in the river (at least wellington depth - waders are available for people to borrow.)

With plant surveying you will need to be able to use apps on you own smart phone/tablet

Training will be given


What you need to bring


Spare clothes (just in case, there is no real need to get very wet, but you are working by/in a river)

Waders if you have them


What’s in it for you

To explore amazing parts of Exmoor, many of which are not routinely open to the public.

The opportunity to learn more about and help conserve and enhance the ecosystem of this river.

Gain valid experience of practical conservation management.

Ideal opportunity for small community groups.


Further info/contact

 Patrick Watts-Mabbott - Volunteer and Outreach Officer

 Tel:  07973727469 or email: pwatts-mabbott@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk



Activity Shifts Start End
Crayfish Control, Regular volunteers and Placements 1 4/1/2019 10/31/2019
Invasive plant surveying 1 6/1/2019 10/31/2019