Himalayan Balsam Working Parties

Himalayan Balsam ‘Gardening’ (Removal)

We meet at the Swimming Baths Café at 9.30 a.m. on the date(s) shown below to remove Himalayan Balsam.

As last time, we feel that this activity can go ahead as there will be minimum equipment involved, and social distancing can be maintained easily.
The Himalayan Balsam is once again taking hold, and we need to curtail the propagation as much as possible.

Please bring robust clothing and foot wear (Wellies are good) as there are nettles and brambles around the main locations and it might be wet underfoot. Please bring your facemask and your own gloves. The face mask to be used for the first few minutes when initially getting sorted. We will provide bags, hand sanitiser, and health and safety guidance.
It will be great to see you if you can make it!

Himalayan Balsam Working Party Date(s) for 2020

There will be no further Himalayan Balsam working Parties in 2020

Results for 2020

September 17 2020

This was the last Himalayan Balsam Working party in 2020

September 03 2020

A group of nine volunteers met up on the 3rd Sept. to make inroads into the spread of Himalayan Balsam. This was our first activity of the year due to the Corvid virus, but we were able to keep safe by following strict health and safety guidelines. WDC advised that, unlike in previous years, the collected Himalayan Balsam could not be taken offsite – the concern was that moving it offsite could cause further uncontrolled spreading – so the bag contents were piled into a heap, in a shaded backwater of the fields, to naturally decompose. Around 20 bags were collected. It was hard work but the results were clear to see!

Himalayan Balsam Leaves and Flowers

Himalayan Balsam seed pods (circled) These can shoot the seeds several yards which helps this invasive species spread rapidly

Bart Bartmanis and Jo Illingworth taking bags of Himalayan Balsam to be composted

Himalayan Balsam compost heap.

Results for 2018:

August 04 2018

Yet another successful “Balsam Bash” – actually it is much more a case of pulling it up.  It comes up quite easily, which is a very positive thing.  However it is essential that it is all collected and bagged up so that the Council can come and remove it for proper disposal. We managed to collect about 14 bags for Council disposal.  Once again we would like to thank all those who joined in with this task.

It may be an attractive flower, but it has to be eliminated or it will just take over!!

Photo © David Emsley

Himalayan Balsam

Photo © David Emsley

Himalayan Balsam

Photo © David Emsley

Himalayan Balsam Flower

After a lot of hard work…

Photo © David Emsley

Cleared of Himalayan Balsam

Photo © David Emsley

Cleared of Himalayan Balsam

Some of our volunteers with the bags of Himalayan balsam collected by all of the volunteers on this occasion…

Photo © David Emsley

David Emsley and John Ruddick

Photo © David Emsley

John Ruddick and Alison Wiggins

Photographs by David Emsley

July 07 2018

Our second attack at the Himalayan Balsam this year. The four volunteers did some sterling work and managed to collect 7 bags of Himalayan Balsam.

Image copyright Sam Sexton

Balsam “Bashers” – Joanna Illingworth, Alison Wiggins, Lizzie Lofthouse and Richard Gillard,

Image Copyright Sam Sexton.

7 Bags of Himalayan Balsam removed

Photographs by Sam Sexton

June 02 2018 Result

This is our first attack at the Himalayan Balsam this year. It is growing along the banks of Finham Brook and needs to be removed to help prevent its spread to wider areas in Abbey Fields and surrounding Areas.

On this occasion we only managed six ‘Himalayan Balsam Bashers’ however they managed to collect about 15 bags of balsam.  The volunteers were great, diligent and enthusiastic! It was a pleasure to work with them. In places the Himalayan Balsam was so dense that once removed, it left a totally clear patch of earth with no other plants. This alone justifies  its removal as it obviously just wipes out the indigenous growth .

It was a very satisfying exercise. If you secure the easily identifiable hollow stem low enough and gently tug, the complete plant and root can be lifted easily and safely.

Quite a therapeutic  exercise although not good for the back as at least  one of the volunteers will attest to.

June Pollard removing Himalayan Balsam

Removing Himalayan Balsam

Alison Wiggins removing Himalayan Balsam

Alison Wiggins removing Himalayan Balsam

Richard Gillard and John Ruddick removing Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam Collection 02 June 2018 Richard Gillard, Ojars Bartmanis, June Pollard, John Ruddick, Alison Wiggins

Photographs by Ojars Bartmanis and Sam Sexton

As this is our first recorded ‘Balsam Bash’ we have no details of previous such working parties, but next year……

During the middle of the year on the first Saturday of each month (whenever possible) at 9.30 am we meet at the Swimming Baths Café after the litter pick to do a Balsam Bash – remove Himalayan Balsam. Old clothes and long sleeves are the order of the day and don’t forget your wellies if it has been raining. The WDC has provided us with gloves and bin bags as there is a legal requirement toto bag up and remove any Himalayan Balsam that is pulled up. We also now have some distinctive yellow tabards with our logo on to show who we are.

Himalayan Balsam Working Party Dates

August was our last Himalayan Balsam Working party this year. 
There will be plenty of opportunity next year to get stick in.

Results for 2018:

August 04 2018

Yet another successful “balsam Bash” – actually it is much more a case of pulling it up.  It comes up quite easily, which is a very positive thing.  However it is essential that it is all collected and bagged up so that the Council can come and remove it for proper disposal. We managed to collect about 14 bags for Council disposal.  Once again we would like to thank all those who joined in with this task.

It may be an attractive flower, but it has to be eliminated or it will just take over!!

Photo © David Emsley

Himalayan Balsam

Photo © David Emsley

Himalayan Balsam

Photo © David Emsley

Himalayan Balsam Flower

After a lot of hard work…

Photo © David Emsley

Cleared of Himalayan Balsam

Photo © David Emsley

Cleared of Himalayan Balsam

Some of our volunteers with the bags of Himalayan balsam collected by all of the volunteers on this occasion…

Photo © David Emsley

David Emsley and John Ruddick

Photo © David Emsley

John Ruddick and Alison Wiggins

Photographs by David Emsley

July 07 2018

Our second attack at the Himalayan Balsam this year. The four volunteers did some sterling work and managed to collect 7 bags of Himalayan Balsam.

Image copyright Sam Sexton

Balsam “Bashers” – Joanna Illingworth, Alison Wiggins, Lizzie Lofthouse and Richard Gillard,

Image Copyright Sam Sexton.

7 Bags of Himalayan Balsam removed

Photographs by Sam Sexton

June 02 2018 Result

This is our first attack at the Himalayan Balsam this year. It is growing along the banks of Finham Brook and needs to be removed to help prevent its spread to wider areas in Abbey Fields and surrounding Areas.

On this occasion we only managed six ‘Himalayan Balsam Bashers’ however they managed to collect about 15 bags of balsam.  The volunteers were great, diligent and enthusiastic! It was a pleasure to work with them. In places the Himalayan Balsam was so dense that once removed, it left a totally clear patch of earth with no other plants. This alone justifies  its removal as it obviously just wipes out the indigenous growth .

It was a very satisfying exercise. If you secure the easily identifiable hollow stem low enough and gently tug, the complete plant and root can be lifted easily and safely.

Quite a therapeutic  exercise although not good for the back as at least  one of the volunteers will attest to.

June Pollard removing Himalayan Balsam

Removing Himalayan Balsam

Alison Wiggins removing Himalayan Balsam

Alison Wiggins removing Himalayan Balsam

Richard Gillard and John Ruddick removing Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam Collection 02 June 2018 Richard Gillard, Ojars Bartmanis, June Pollard, John Ruddick, Alison Wiggins

Photographs by Ojars Bartmanis and Sam Sexton

As this is our first recorded ‘Balsam Bash’ we have no details of previous such working parties, but next year……