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Beating the Balsam

Once again an intrepid party of plucky members waged a guerilla war against an invasive threat. A small work-party deployed to Beat 1 under Nigel's guidance to remove Himalayan Balsam. It wasn't too hard to spot, as it was usually poking its head above the nettles, but reaching it on the steep and slippery banks of Beat 1 was quite a challenge. We spent several hours lifting it and piling it up to rot on the banks, and whilst we know some survived, at least we made a dent in its insidious progress to dominate the entire river. It was easy enough to pull it out after the heavy rains, and it's still well ahead of flowering, so we will have made a difference.

Well done to Andrew and Tony for their hard work today, but you can all do your bit too, by spending 10 minutes pulling it up whenever you go fishing and see some. Pile it up away from the edge and in some dense vegetation where it isn't in contact with the soil. The other thing you can do is watch out for Nigel's next invitation to Bash the Balsam in the next few weeks. We hope to have a good go at it before it starts flowering and spitting its seeds at anything that moves, and if we can get a good number of members together, we can make a real difference in just a few hours. If we let it continue to promulgate it will crowd out other more useful vegetation that can help stabilise the banks, leading to sandy margins that get washed away every Winter. It may be pretty, but it doesn't belong here, and your river will be better off without it.

PeterB

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