Let Balsam Bashing Begin
PUBLISHED: 16:26 20 June 2014
The invasive Himalayan balsam is under attack from volunteer ‘balsam bashing’ teams led by the Inland Waterways Association.
In the summer the species spreads along waterways, crowding out native plants – then in the autumn it dies back leaving the ground bare and at risk of erosion when winter comes. But it’s non-toxic, it can be pulled up by hand, and so clearing it is ideal volunteer work.
IWA branches will be working with the Canal & River Trust and local groups all over the system, concentrating their efforts mainly on two weeks: the first one is this week 21-29 June, then there’s another planned on 19-27 July. IWA branches have ‘balsam bundles’ which include gloves and high-visibility vests, so volunteers need only turn up with suitable clothes, a packed lunch and enthusiasm. See waterways.org.uk