Red brick building on the other side of a river next to a bridge

Milling around

A baking hot day with Stroud Valleys Project down at Ebley Mill. Himalayan Balsam season is well underway and today’s task was a continuation of what had been done in this area last year.

There were large parts of the bank which were balsam free. In those areas where there were, the numbers were greatly reduced from last year.

It can take up to seven years of pulling in a site to eradicate, so this was a good sign in year 2.

Some areas though were missed last year and the balsam were like plantations. In some places, new trees were discovered after the balsam had been cleared!

Tall plants surrounding a tree sapling inside a tree guard
Balsam surrounding a sapling

One of the hazards along this section of the river is giant hogweed. This is a non-native and toxic species which needs specialist removal treatment which has been done by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. We did come across a few patches so we took a note of the location to pass back to the Trust.

After a site has been pulled, it can look quite messy and destructive, with shredded vegetation everywhere. However, the plant is almost all water and this will literally evaporate in a couple of days.

Shredded himalayan balsam on the floor. River in background
Area after Himalayan Balsam clearing

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