Tall himalyam balsam plants in the foreground, trees in the background

Pulling up giants

This was the second visit to the river Frome with Stroud Valleys Project to continue the work to eradicate Himalayan Balsam.

There were only four of us today but we had some very targetted areas to pull. A lot more plants are starting to flower, so this exercise will be pointless once they set seed.

They are also considerably higher. In many places, they were over seven feet tall.

Tall nettles and thistles with a patch in the middle full of cut balsam
After clearing a severe patch

Unfortunately the Balsam were hiding deep in nettles and creeping thistle, so stung arms are a hazard of the job.

We had lunch in a beautifully shaded spot by the river, just along from the most intense patch of balsam. This area was very hidden from view and consequently it had all run away a little bit. However, we cleared pretty much the whole area, so it will be interesting to check next year what difference it makes.

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