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Take action against Himalayan balsam

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 20/07/2012

This is a non-native plant which is found along our rivers and streams and its seeds can quickly spread, smothering other native flowers and vegetation as it goes. The balsam can take over so much that the river banks are left completely bare during the winter months which can lead to increased erosion.

To help stop the spread, we are launching a conservation campaign called the Big Pull and we are looking for community groups and large businesses to get involved and help us pull up the weeds.

We are running free workshops with practical demonstrations where you will learn how to identify, pull and dispose of Himalayan balsam.

Workshops take place on the following dates:

● Monday 21 May from 6pm to 8pm at the Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve in Bradley Stoke. Meet at Bradley Stoke Library at 6pm. This workshop will be followed by a community action day on Saturday 2 June at the nature reserve between 10am and 1pm

● Wednesday 23 May from 6pm to 8pm at Conham River Park, Hanham. Meet at Conham River Park car park, BS15 3AU at the bottom of Conham Hill

● Thursday 14 June from 6pm to 8pm at The Globe Inn, Frampton Cotterell. Meet in the car park, Church Road, BS36 2AX

Cllr James Hunt said: “Himalayan balsam’s aggressive nature can be bad news for our native flowers and that’s why we are launching this campaign to stop the spread. It’s easy to pull up and you can do your bit for your local community and learn some conservation skills while enjoying South Gloucestershire’s many scenic spots. So why not come along to one of the workshops and see how you can get involved.”

Environmental projects officer John Morris added: “We get requests from local organisations and businesses for ideas for team days out and this is a great way for a local employer to show their support for conservation by volunteering their staff for a few hours to help make a difference. If you can spare the time, we can offer free training and support.”

Booking a place on the workshops is advisable so please call 01454 863592 for further details or email or visit for more information.

This is a joint initiative between the council and the Environment Agency.

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