Balsam can completely take over river banks and woodland, crowding our native species and reducing biodiversity. Balsam dies back over the winter, leaving bare banks which are susceptible to erosion, negatively impacting upon aquatic ecosystems.
It’s crucial Himalayan balsam is pulled before it produces seed. If you pull it after seed production you could be spreading new balsam plants!
Balsam seeds aren’t very robust and can only last 18 months in the soil. So a couple of years of balsam bashing can be very effective!
This month there is a focus on Himalayan Balsam. Have you spotted some balsam around calderdale? This is a great time of the year to go out and pull some balsam, take a photo or video of you balsam bashing and send to Catherine.Seal@environment-agency.gov.uk. We will be sharing over our social media channels too, so tag us (@slowtheflow_uk) in and we will share.