Because of its colourful pink flowers, Himalayan balsam was introduced to Britain as an ornamental garden plant in Victorian times but it has ‘jumped the garden fence’ and is now spreading rapidly through our countryside. When ripe, its seed pods ‘explode’ to shoot out the seeds and if they fall into nearby ditches or streams they are carried downstream to start new colonies elsewhere.
Himalayan balsam is a problem in the countryside as it is incredibly invasive and can ‘elbow-out’
Catherine Chatters, the New Forest Non-Native Plants Officer at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, is delighted that so many people have willingly given their time to stop the spread of these problem plants. “It is so encouraging that volunteers of all ages have joined forces to tackle the invasion of Himalayan balsam” says Catherine.
Forty-six keen volunteers from KPMG, a Southampton-
This important work will continue in 2011. If anyone is interested in getting involved next summer, please contact Catherine Chatters on 023 8042 4205 or via e-mail at email@example.com Details of volunteer events can be found on the web page at http://www.hwt.org.uk/
# # #
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is a charity that works to protect wildlife and wild places. We manage over 50 wildlife reserves which are some of the most important wildlife sites in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.