Himalayan Balsam

posted 30 May 2018, 06:54 by Phil Handy   [ updated 30 May 2018, 06:58 ]
For the past few summers we have been working to control the spread of Himalayan Balsam along the River Frome in Frampton Cotterell. In this time there has been a marked reduction in the amount of this invasive plant locally. However as it spreads by seeds which can be carried along by the river, there is always a chance of it re-invading.

By regular clearing we can stop it forming dense clumps which have a negative effect on the local eco-system. Clearing is relatively easy as it is very shallow rooted and can easily be pulled out to stop it forming viable seed.

This year balsam development has been slower than in the past couple of years due probably to the cool weather in March/April. However there are now signs of growth in a few places along the river so once again we will be clearing it to keep it under control.  Our first session will be on:
Monday 4th June, meeting at 2pm in Meadow Mead.

It's a pleasant way to get some gentle exercise in a pleasant and interesting natural environment. No experience or special equipment is necessary, just sturdy footwear, gloves and nettle resistant clothing. If the river levels are low then wading is possible with wellington boots or waders (we have some spare pairs) but it is not essential as much of the balsam is easily reachable from the riverbank.

As our local stretch of the river becomes more clear of balsam, we hope to be able to travel further upstream to reduce the seed bank which facilitates recolonisation. We would welcome contact from volunteer groups in Iron Acton, Yate and Chipping Sodbury who'd like help with clearing sessions in their areas. 

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