Himalayan Balsam weed cut

An intrepid group of volunteers spent a very productive morning last week pulling out several large clumps of Himalayan Balsam in the upper reaches of the fishery.

A small fraction of the Himalayan Balsam uprooted from the river banks. It is important to remove offending plants before they set seed as running water is a particularly effective spreading medium.

Himalayan Balsam is yet another plant imported by gardeners and landscapers which has proved to be quite aggressive, rapidly colonising new areas via wind or water borne seeds and overpowering native plants. In recent years it has escaped from gardens and found its way onto our river banks (as in this case) with the result that manual clearing is becoming increasingly necessary.

No doubt we will see next season how effective our efforts have been, but the consensus was that this area at least has been well cleared.

Himalayan Balsam is not to be confused with the native plants which adorn the banks of the Wensum, many of which also have pink flowers.

Himalayan Balsam has large pink/purple flowers and a very distinctive orange or pale coloured stem. It should be removed wherever possible and taken away from the riverbank.