Following the discovery of Himalayan balsam, an invasive non-native species, along the Roman River catchment south of Colchester in 2011, funding was obtained from the Environment Agency to manually pull up the plants along the river catchment to allow native species to recolonise the area. A summer of volunteer effort along the catchment in 2012 appeared to pay off, as by 2013 far fewer plants were evident in the area. So far so good.
A survey in June 2014 told a different story. To our dismay the areas we had previously cleared in 2012 proved to have grown back in some parts of the catchment, with the plants now in some cases over 8ft tall. It was now essential to pull up the plants again, as quickly as possible so that they did not have a chance to set seed and spread further. Several days worth of hard work later, the area is now clear of himalayan balsam again and the native plants that were being choked have now got space to grow.
Have you seen himalayan balsam growing this summer? if so, report it here: