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Volunteer to 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: 27/05/2014

The Big Pull is a community conservation project which aims to tackle the rapid spread of Himalayan balsam along our river banks and open spaces. South Gloucestershire Council’s Wild4Life project and the Avon Invasive Weeds project work together to organise events each summer.

The annual Big Pull campaign begins on Saturday 31 May, ahead of Volunteers’ Week (1 to 7 June). There are a number of free Big Pull mornings taking place along the riverside Frome Valley Walkway in Yate where you can learn how to identify, pull up and dispose of this invasive plant. These Big Pull mornings are open to everybody and take place between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 31 May, Saturday 7 June, Saturday 28 June and Saturday 12 July.

Anyone wishing to take part should meet at 10am at the far end of Celestine Road, Yate BS37 5HB. Wellies, trousers and long sleeves are recommended. Gloves, equipment and refreshments will be provided. All ages are welcome though young people under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult.

Rowena Kenny, South Gloucestershire Council’s Wild4Life Project Officer, said: “This year we will be running Big Pull mornings along the River Frome walkway near the Goose Green Community Nature Area in Yate to stop the plant’s spread upstream. Let’s pull together! It is easy and great fun to pull up by hand and we are very keen to build on the great work started last year to prevent it spreading into the Community Nature Area and further along the river.”

“In addition to individual’s taking part, if you belong to an organisation or group that’s interested in being involved in one of our Big Pull mornings, or holding a pull on an alternative date, we would love to hear from you.”

The Big Pull is a partnership project involving community groups and volunteers with support from South Gloucestershire Council’s Wild4Life project and the Avon Invasive Weeds project. Last year 106 local volunteers got involved along with conservation workers and A level, NVQ and degree students who joined in as part of their education and research. Between them a total of 675 metres along the River Frome were cleared.

Contact us by calling 01454 863556, emailing or alternatively visit or for more information.

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