HOW TO START BALSAM BASHING
MANY RIVERS trusts and other environmental partnerships organise local efforts to fight back against invasive non-native species (INNS). Here’s a selection:
Monnow Rivers Association:
Since 2010, the Association’s trailblazing Going Native project has been clearing invasive mink and Himalayan balsam from the River Monnow and its tributaries along the English/welsh border. Anglers are still encouraged to pull 50 balsam plants (if they can find them!) as part of their day on the river: find out more at www.monnow.org This local partnership between landowners, farmers, gillies, fishermen and volunteers has been delivering comprehensive control of giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam across the Tweed catchment since
Tweed Invasives Forum:
2003. For more information, see www.tweedforum.org
Cumbria Freshwater INNS
Initiative: Currently funded by the Environment Agency, Natural England and Defra, this is a pilot for a multi-catchment approach to controlling freshwater and riparian INNS, including promoting biosecurity and training volunteers. To get involved, visit http://cfinns. scrt.co.uk/ Wandle Trust: Local volunteers have eradicated Himalayan balsam from the Carshalton arm of south London’s River Wandle, and are now busily tackling balsam and floating pennywort on the rest of the river, thanks to a project with the Heritage Lottery Fund. Find out more at www.wandletrust.org Readers offer: To buy Theo Pike’s book The Pocket Guide to Balsam Bashing, turn to page 84.