Himalayan Balsam bashing across Rossendale

Civic Pride exists to improve the local environment for all.  We achieve this by clearing litter, creating, regenerating and maintaining community gardens and other open spaces.  In addition we campaign against dog fouling.  Now we’re taking Himalayan Balsam bashing across Rossendale even more seriously.

Why remove Himalyan Balsam?

Impatiens glandulifera

 

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.’

Why encourage and protect bees?

 

Bees are the worlds 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 scattering wild flower seeds to help nature return the area to it’s natural state.

If you’d like to set up a group where you live please contact us at info@civic-pride.org.uk for guidance.  Hi vis jackets and wildflower seeds will be supplied free of charge.  DO IT NOW before it starts to flower.

Help us in our quest to eradicate this invasive and destructive species and provide a diverse habitat for insects, birds and other wildlife.

Conclusion

Each year we and our sister groups plant thousands of bulbs and plants across Rossendale to assist with biodiversity.  You’ve seen the beautiful gardens we’ve created and the bees certainly have!

Please join us as we make Rossendale a more attractive place to  live, work or run a business. Email us at info@civic-pride.org.uk or call 07955 110199.  We’d love to hear from you.