Defra describes this rather attractive plant as an invasive, non-native species and lays down guidance for its destruction. The RHS point out that it shades out light, gradually smothering other plants.
We’ve also taken advice from Professor Rick Battarbee FRS at the Environmental Change Research Centre, University College, London:
“… As you know HB is a non-native invasive species which poses a major threat to our native wildflowers and after dieback in winter exposes soil, especially soil on river banks, to erosion. It’s important to remove the balsam and in its place restore a diverse community of native wildflowers. Such a community will then support of variety of pollinators including honey bees but also other bees, hoverflies and moths.”
Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops and whilst they may be attracted by Himalayan Balsam it does not appear on the list of the most important bee attracting plants published by rosybee.com/research but more importantly, it reduces plant diversity which is so important for bees and other pollinators.
Can you, will you help?
The Rossendale valley is infested with this habitat destroying species. We’ve had a small team clearing an area behind Rawtenstall cemetery and other areas but we can’t do it alone. After removal we’ll be planting seedlings to help nature return the area to its natural state.
If you’d like to set up a group where you live please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance. Hi vis jackets and native seedlings will be supplied free of charge.
Help us in our quest to eradicate this invasive and destructive species and provide a diverse habitat for insects, birds and other wildlife.