Balsam Pulling

19th May 2018

Help stop the spread of Himalayan balsam, a non-native plant which is invading riverbanks along the Foss.

Himalayan balsam is a non-native, invasive plant which was introduced to the UK in the nineteenth century. It has ‘explosive’ seed pods which shoot out the seeds. If the seeds fall
into a nearby watercourse they can be carried along in the water to invade land further downstream. Himalayan balsam has short roots and is easy to pull up so balsam-pulling is very satisfying.

Bring a snack and plenty to drink. Wear long trousers, bring gloves, and have good strong footwear or wellingtons. It is advisable to wear a long-sleeved shirt. If sunny, bring a hat and sun protection cream. If wet, bring waterproof coat and waterproof trousers. People under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is still in the planning stage, but we hope to run several sessions at various sites between Sheriff Hutton and Yearsley weir, between mid-May and mid-June, depending on the weather and its consequences for the rate of growth of the plants, which need to be pulled before they flower. We may also try some hoeing sessions earlier on.

There will be pulls on weekdays, weekends and evenings, so please let John Millett know if you’d like to join in and he can keep you informed as well as sort out a suitable session(s) for you.