Invasive species week runs from 13th to 17th May and he Inland Waterways Association (IWA) are launching the annual Pull Snap Stomp Campaign with the aim of stamping out the spread of Himalayan Balsam along rivers and canal banks.
Himalayan Balsam invasive plant species
Himalayan balsam is a non-native, invasive plant species that can be found along the banks of the UK’s waterways.
It grows so quickly that it crowds out native wildflowers and takes over large swathes of ground. Growing up to three metres in height, it makes an impressive sight with its reddish stems and pink-purple flowers, but the plant has no root stock, so once it dies back, the ground is susceptible to erosion, especially during the wet winter months.
Seeking Volunteers for June and July
Himalayan balsam stems are easy to pull out and leave the ground with a very pleasing ‘pop’ which makes it a fun family activity. IWA is seeking volunteers both young and old to help remove the plants from towpaths during June and July before it has a chance to go to seed and spread its stranglehold even further.
Volunteers are being asked to take just five minutes out of their walk to PULL up the stems, SNAP off the root and STOMP down on it to speed up the rotting process.
Sign up for an Information Pack
IWA is asking members of the public to either sign up for an online information pack in order to pull up Himalayan balsam on a family walk or to join a local IWA branch Balsam Bash work party.
To see where the Balsam Bashes are running or to request an information pack, please visit www.waterways.org.uk/himalayanbalsam. Balsam Bashes will take place during late June/early July.
More information on this non-native, invasive species can also be found on the IWA website at www.waterways.org.uk/himalayanbalsam.
If you find Himalayan balsam and pull any up, please post a photo on social media using #PullSnapStomp.
About The Inland Waterways Association
The Inland Waterways Association is the membership charity that works to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers. IWA is a national organisation with a network of volunteers and branches who deploy their expertise and knowledge to work constructively with navigation authorities, government and other organisations. The Association also provides practical and technical support to restoration projects through its expert Waterway Recovery Group.
About Invasive Species Week (13-17 May, 2019)
Run by the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS), this is the fourth year that Invasive Species Week has run. This year, the focus is on making the public aware of the impact of non-native species on the ecosystem and environment. For more information, please visit: