Himalayan Balsam

The Problem?

Photograph by Philip Precey

Like most Invasive Non-Native Species of plant, Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) was introduced as an ornamental garden species. First recorded in the wild in 1855 it is now commonly seen along river banks. The species out competes native plants, dominating river banks. As it dies down in the winter this leaves river banks bare, increasing erosion and flood risk whilst reducing food available to wintering wildlife.

What Are We Doing?

Photograph by Dan van den Toorn

We have a problem with Himalayan Balsam on two of our reserves; Bowesfield Marsh and The Howls. To deal with this our volunteers go “Balsam Bashing” in May (before the plant seeds), the plant is literally pulled by hand, which can take a long time. We will be looking for volunteers this May to assist in the task. For more information on how to get involved contact us on [email protected].