RSPB root out prob­lem plant

Macclesfield Express - - THE LAUGHING BADGER -

FAM­I­LIES from Mac­cles­field RSPB Wildlife Ex­plor­ers teamed up at River­side Park to help tackle an en­vi­ron­men­tal prob­lem that has a detri­men­tal im­pact on the na­tive river­bank flora.

Hi­malayan bal­sam is a tall, pro­lific and in­va­sive plant that the group say causes huge prob­lems along wa­ter­ways and is best con­trolled by pulling out the quick-grow­ing stems be­fore the plants have chance to seed.

The group worked hard pulling out and col­lect­ing bun­dles of com­plete bal­sam stems, care­fully avoid­ing net­tles, bram­bles and wild­flow­ers.

Leader David Wil­son, who has just com­pleted the first year of his ecol­ogy de­gree at the Univer­sity of Worces­ter, en­joyed di­rect­ing the cre­ation of a huge sculp­ture, a spi­der sit­ting in a web, us­ing the bal­sam stems.

Ex­plor­ers then ‘set’ the de­sign by bash­ing the stems with jump­ing and stamp­ing.

As well as com­plet­ing the sculp­ture this also en­sured that the bal­sam would not re-grow.

Group leader Tina Hanak said: “We would like to thank all the vol­un­teers who turned up and worked so hard in the driz­zle – great fun was had by all and we con­trib­uted to a re­ally im­por­tant con­ser­va­tion task”.

See Mac­cles­field Wildlife Ex­plor­ers’ Face­book page or fol­low them on Twit­ter @ Mac­cWildlife. De­tails of meet­ings and next year’s 30th an­niver­sary pro­gramme will be pub­lished at mac­cles­fiel­dr­spb.org.uk.

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