Charity seeks plant pulling volunteers

By Tilly Walder Aug 8, 2023

Natural Enterprise is out on the River Medina, the Eastern Yar and Wroxall Stream, aiming to eradicate an intrusive plant.

The local charity is in urgent need of volunteers to tackle Himalayan Balsam – one of the most invasive non-native plant species on the Island’s rivers.

As well as out-pollinating and out-shading our native flora, and threatening the biodiversity of our river habitats, Himalayan Balsam dies back in winter, leaving riverbanks bare and vulnerable to erosion and increased flooding, contributing to the decline of one of the UK’s rarest mammals, the water vole.

Carol Flux, project manager, explained: “We currently have volunteers out three days a week, and need new people to join our team. It’s urgent as the balsam will be seeding soon, and each plant produces about 800 seeds. Pulling Himalayan Balsam out at the root before it has a chance to seed is an effective method of control, and we also have some volunteers using scythes, and some wading. It’s an easy job, lots of fun and a great excuse to work outside in some of our loveliest river-side spots!”

If you would like to give a hand Himalayan Balsam-pulling this summer, contact Carol Flux on 07790 906232 or carol.flux@naturalenterprise.co.uk

No experience is necessary as training will be given on the day.