Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Hymalayan Balsam

I see that the IWA have received an award.

The Living Waterways Award

This award is about services to Himalayan Balsam eradication. Now I am no expert in this field but I know something, such as:

Did you know Himalayan Balsam can grow to to 2.5 metres high that’s over eight feet tall. A mature plant can produce 800 seeds all in spring loaded capsules that can project the seeds about 7 metres, about 22 feet. The plant, related to the household Bizzie Lizzie, is only an annual plant, but with it seed spreading ability one plant soon becomes 800 and the next year 64,000 and the next 51.2 million.

This is something we all need to get a grip of. During this  years journey I have passed fields of the stuff along the K&A and on the Leicester Line and what is most annoying is no one seems to want to do anything about it.

Earlier in the month I reported three ‘plantations’ of the stuff in Leicester and the reports never even showed up on the website.

Down on the K&A from just above County lock for about the next 10/15 miles the are thousands of the plants. Most of them are where people regularly walk. What councils need to do is to educate the locals into what to look for and who to report to.

This plant is crowding out our own native species and needs to be stopped. It seems to me there are a lot of plants growing along the rivers and canals, we as boater can do a lot to help. Where we see this virile weed growing we should in the case of small amounts and single plants pull them up. They are shallow rooted but if you find this hard just cut of the upper parts of the plant with a sharp pen knife. It’s an annual so the root system will die off. But before pulling up, cover the flowering part of the plant with a bin liner to prevent the seed pods popping or you will be wasting your time. If the flowers haven’t set then you need not be so careful with the tops. If you do uproot them DO NOT throw the plants in the hedgerow, they might get a hold and keep growing. Bag them and bin them.

If you find large plantations which you cannot handle then call the local environmental department and tell them the location. If you are reading this piece on a smart phone, laptop, or  i-Pad you can google the nearest office.065870_9b89b48dbalsam


Marilyn McDonald said...

Good advice, Maffi. Next year we will take it on. I was disturbed to see so much of it, once knowing what it was and how invasive it is (thanks to Kath from Herbie). It seemed particularly prevalent along the Soar and on the stretch of the Trent from Trent Lock to Sawley.

Maffi said...

From before Leicester all the way to the Trent there are fields of it.