Himalayan Balsam

Status Locally

Himalayan balsam on a stream in the Gosforth area

(Click photo to enlarge)

Himalayan balsam is established on a number of local rivers and streams, including the Tyne and the upper Ouse Burn.

The plant was discovered in Holywell Dene in 2016, although it was probably there before. About 200 of the plants were pulled out and destroyed in 2016 – rather too late in the year to prevent it seeding. By mid-August 2017, about 600 plants had been found and pulled, and counting ...

So, it is increasing dramatically! However, in 2017 we have mostly caught it before it could set seed, so we have high hopes that 2018 will see reduced numbers.

What's needed? You! We need as many eyes as possible to identify and report Himalayan balsam plants.

Here’s what to do: (1) study the photos in the following web pages, and (2) if you spot any plants when you are walking in the Dene, just send us a message via our website contact page (or phone us if you know one of our numbers) and we will go out and zap it.

The weed was largely cleared from Gosforth Park Nature Reserve between 2013 and 2014 – so it can be done!

Photo taken in July 2016 in the Fencerhill Wood nature reserve, Gosforth, which is managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust (who make great efforts to control the pest, but it always comes back again!)

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