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Working Parties -Balsam Pulls

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Dates for Himalayan Balsam Pulls

There are three Himalayan Balsam working parties over the coming weeks.  These will be on:

- Saturday 22nd June (Postponed) - Thursday 11th July  - Saturday 20th July

On each date the main meeting point will be at 10am outside the Tourist Information Centre in the Crescent Car Park at Bude. 

The plan is to do both a morning session and an afternoon session each time.  You are welcome to come and help with all or part of either session.  As most of you will know, Himalayan Balsam is a beautiful but highly invasive alien species which, if left unchecked, rapidly displaces many of the native plants on which our local wildlife depends.  Its pink flowers produce large quantities of seeds which, once they are set, explode throwing the seeds up to 7 metres (a key reason for its rapid spread).

The good news is that it is surprisingly easy to pull out.  Although it grows quite tall, It has very shallow roots and is usually in damp ground. Pulling it, before the seed sets, stops the spread and, because it grows in such dense stands, each person can pull a large amount in a short space of time.  Previous working parties along the side of the canal towpath and around the bird hide pool have dramatically reduce the quantity there.  On these working parties we will hope to clear what escaped last year's pulls and tackle new areas.  There is still no shortage of it in Bude Valley!

If you are planning to come, we advise wearing old clothers and boots (or wellingtons) as the ground round the plants is often damp.  I find that wearing gloves (in my case, old gardening gloves) helps to get a grip of the plants.  Bring something to drink and a picnic lunch if you are intending to stay with us over lunch (some stay to chat then, but the local cafes or shops are not far off).  Or bring your lunch and pull in the afternoon.