Wednesday 14 January 2015


They're all very pretty – which is why they get a foothold in the first place. But Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and, to some extent, Russian Vine have an undesirable reputation for refusing to go home once they've got a foot in the door. We've taken Erin Mae past vast plantations of the stuff.

Now the BBC have published a story about the use of goats by an enterprising man in the USA.

It seems he bought the goats to raise and sell for meat, but got to know them and couldn't bring himself to do the business (shades of Babe!). Fortunately he discovered that they had a hidden talent – the ability to clear a large site of its undergrowth, in a time-frame just short enough to avoid getting fed up with eating the same thing all the time. Now he rents them out for clearance purposes.

I wondered if the scheme might take off along the canals. Have a read of the article and see what you think. Perhaps boaters should think about having a goat on board rather than a dog. A nicely-roused goat could probably offer the same degree of protection, and contribute to towpath ecology along the way!

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