Ancient woodland under threat from aggressive weed

Blackdown Hills in Somerset is under threat Credit: ITV News

Ancient woodland across the West is under threat from an aggressive weed - but it's a plant which many of us choose to have in our gardens.

The Forestry Commission on Blackdown Hills in Somerset says one type of rhododendron is so invasive that it's wiping out the native bluebells and snowdrops.

The Rhododendron Ponticum contains a very damaging tree disease, and once it takes hold in a forest, it is very difficult to remove.

Experts in Somerset have been trying to tackle the plant using poison as part of a five year eradication programme.

They drill a hole into the trunk and put a couple of drops of herbicide inside, which is enough to kill the entire plant:

Experts warn that to save the ancient forest, the eradication programme will need to be expanded.