Invasive Weeds - Making a Diiference

posted 15 Aug 2013, 02:10 by Phil Handy   [ updated 15 Aug 2013, 08:11 ]
A group of 15 volunteers (including a party from the Environment Agency) gathered along the River Frome for another day of action against Himalayan Balsam, an invasive weed which has spread along the Frome Valley and which out-competes native wildflowers if allowed to flourish. 

Growing to up to 2.5 metres tall, with flowers which are rich in nectar and are highly attractive to bees, and with explosive seed pods which can distribute seeds far from the original plant, it forms large clumps along the river bank and further afield if allowed to spread. Its shallow roots lead to instability of river banks and when it dies down in winter it leaves large bare patches which are prone to erosion in heavy winter rain.

Neil Green of the Avon Invasive Weeds Forum has organised more than 20 voluntary working parties along the River Frome this year. Although he is pleased with the results achieved to date, Neil says, "There are still areas we need to cover to eradicate Himalayan Balsam completely along the Frome Valley. Also seeds remain viable for up to 18 months so we will need to return to areas already cleared. However I think we've made a good start in tackling the problem."

Neil's Safety Briefing - 
"If the water's this deep, it's not safe!"

The team of volunteers standing in front of a wall of Himalayan Balsam which they are about to flatten!

Conservation Volunteering

If you are interested in forming a local conservation group to continue with the work started this year, please contact us.