Help Tackle the Invaders in 2015

The Himalayan Balsam is off and growing now, and here’s what you can do to help Transition New Mills manage it:

  • At a Transition Balsam Bash: next session 11-12:30, Sunday 14th June, meet at Torrs Hydro’s Archie in the Torrs Park. Easier with stout footwear, long sleeves and gardening gloves (some gloves can be provided for those without, courtesy of our DCC Greenwatch Action Grant). Further sessions will be arranged, and we hope to be able to offer some incentives to join in!
  • Informal Bashes: email to be added to an informal network of people who may call for help or company on odd occasions when they are able to go out. This was probably the most effective method we used last year, and was often at relatively short notice.
  • Pledge to Pick a Patch: choose an area of land you want to commit to clear and keep balsam-free. You can do it on your own, or with friends, at times to suit you before it sets seed. Tell us where it is so we can plot where the plant is being managed, and give you due credit!
  • Pick Whilst you Walk: suitable for dogwalkers and ramblers especially, keep those favourite walks balsam free by picking as you go. Keep a look out for separate newer patches which need tackling now before they get out of control

If you know of any people or groups which may want to get involved, please let them and us know! And we’d love to hear how you’re getting on. The rules for picking are very easy:

  • Identify it: this is what the plant looks like, although it can grow up to 2m tall. It has pinky-white fragrant flowers from July:HB

Note: don’t pull anything up if you aren’t sure about it. In particular, don’t touch Japanese Knotweed, another resilient invader which can spread easily by regenerating from little scraps, and is best treated by professionals.

  • Pull it: it comes out really easily, with very shallow roots. Only pull it before it has set seed though, or else it will fling its seeds around when disturbed, spreading the problem further.
  • Crush it: crush the stem between roots and first set of leaves, or it may try to regrow

Transition New Mill’s priority areas this year will focus on:

  • The Sett Valley, from Archie in the Torrs upstream towards Hayfield
  • The Goyt Valley, from Archie in the Torrs upstream towards the railway viaduct at Goytside Farm
  • Mousley Bottom, along the river and valley bottom, in conjunction with Derbyshire County Council

Look out for further events and news on this topic on the blog; in the meantime, go to it, bashers!

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