|Pepper drooling to get stuck into bashing balsam|
|A local variation of balsam bashing at Knights Park – Kingston University mid May|
|Pulling up balsam in the rain at Knights Park Campus|
We had a fantastic turn out with 25 volunteers from different organisations from the Hogsmill Catchment Partnership, as well as local volunteers who had seen our posters join us for the day ... THANK YOU :)
|Polly and Tom clearing away the balsam on the ditch at Rushett Lane|
We worked on two critical areas; the first was at Chessington which is the source of Himalayan balsam infestation on the Bonesgate stream, a tributary of the Hogsmill River.
|Ellot, Conor and Stuart clearing one of the balsam stands|
|Baby balsam hiding under the nettles were a little harder to find on the day|
Elmbridge meadows is located at or below the entry points for all of the tributaries in the Hogsmill so it’s the first site to get the bulk of all of the seeds form all of the upstream sites. Resulting in a very heavy infestation of balsam, not only on all of the banks of the river, but in a nearby scrap created to increase fresh water habitats in the park.
|The narrow path in the balsam before we started pulling|
|Weaving our way through the nettle and balsam understorey|
|Making good progress|
|A quick tea break|
We had a great time pulling out the balsam, managing to clear approximately 80% of the current growth.
|Creating a green carpet of pulled plants|
|Reaching the pond at the end of the scrap|
The great thing about this site is that it’s easily accessible, if this is your local park, and you use it, why not add in pulling a few balsam plants to your walks in the park before they produce seed pods? – Just remember to have a pair of gloves with you as well as long sleeves to protect you from getting stung by nettles :)
If you walk in the area regularly, don't forget to make sure that seeds aren't caught in your clothing (and taken off site) if you ramble through the plants when the pods are present. These pods pop and throw seeds out to get easily caught in hoods, upturned jeans etc.
|The end of a fun day at site 2|