Himalayan Balsam Wales

Balsam blog 6

Hi all this is my final blog for this year !

Extra last minute funding was found to help continue work tackling balsam on the Ystwyth.

Because now late in the season tactics were changed to do a 4th and final sweep on the upper reaches of the river.

We also managed a second abseiling of the 40 foot bank. See below.


This photo shows a change of approach as the climber is wearing a rucksack back to front with a bin bag inserted into it to collect all the Balsam heads as they have now gone to seed but are not quite ripe enough to pop open.

Further up the river few balsam plants were found about four bag fulls in all.

Only 2 very small plants found around my usual photo spot . See below.


The photo below shows the size and stage of the average plants we found, usually no more than a foot tall.


All bags were carefully removed from site to forestry property near by that has been used in the past for incineration . See below.


Although i would not recommend this method of tackling Balsam as it is more labour intensive with a risk, if you are not careful of contaminating a new area . The extra funding  will no doubt have saved hundreds of new seedling from starting next year.

Another point to mention this year is that while going down river we inspected every tributary and field ditch entering the Ystwyth and found no other point of access of the plant.

This is easy to determine because the Balsam either finishes within 20 to 30 meters of the main river or gets worse ! if it gets worse you know you have found another source that has to be traced to its origin.

I would like to thank COUNTRYSIDE COUNCIL FOR WALES , THE FORESTRY COMISSION WALES and THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY WALES for their meetings, time, input and funding for this project.

Hopefully we shall see an even bigger impact next year and the years to follow as it does seem most days like a marathon and not a sprint but one that we are winning slowly and surely.

All the best and please let there be a frost soon.



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