Himalayan Balsam removal

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive plant species that has taken over a lot of the river banks in the Calder Valley. This year we have already hand pulled Himalayan Balsam across an area of over 50 hectares. Although hand pulling the plants is hard work, it is the most effective method of removing Himayan Balsam in order to restore the original biodiversity of these river banks. In the future, we would like to combine this with wildflower planting on the most adversely affected sites to promote a quick healthy recovery of the original flora. We believe it’s important to use locally sourced wildflower seed, which we intend to collect with local volunteers, home ed groups and local schools.  Engaging young people in local seed collection, will help them to actively learn about their natural environment and develop a greater appreciation for the outdoors. Spending time outdoors in nature is proven to help people that suffer from health issues, anxiety, stress and depression, which is now more important than ever before, given the difficult circumstances we are all facing due to Covid-19. In the event that similar restrictions continue for a longer period of time, we would start our volunteering activities with small groups of 6.