Control of Himalayan Balsam

Another fantastic day with the young residents of Bilbrook. 82 students from Bilbrook Middle School and Codsall Community High School came along to pull up the invasive species Himalayan Balsam, which is taking over the banks of Moat Brook.

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is a relative of the busy Lizzie, but reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem, especially on riverbanks and waste land, but can also invade gardens. It grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation as it goes. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds. These are dispersed widely as the ripe seedpods shoot their seeds up to 7m (22ft) away.

The plant is spread by two principal means;

  • The most widespread distribution tends to be by human means where individuals pass on seed to friends
  • Once established in the catchment of a river the seeds, which can remain viable for two years, are transported further afield by water

An amazing 16,000 plants were pulled up. What a massive effort they made, thank you.

 

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Students from Codsall Community High School
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Volunteers as far as the eye can see. Bliss
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Tallest plant competition
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And don’t grow here again
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Pupils from Bilbrook Middle School
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look what we’ve just pulled out the ground.