Balsam Bashing

Help to remove himalayan balsam from the River Thame Catchment.

Himalayan balsam, a pesky invasive non-native plant, has established itself along the R. Thame and some of its tributaries. These plants bully their way into habitat, over shading and out-competing our native flora. They are good disperses and can easily spread using explosive seed pods that shoot seeds several meters into the nearest watercourse.

Thankfully they are shallow rooted and easy to pull out. They can grow in large clumps, sometimes number thousands of plants. This is why we need as many hands as we can get to help pull these species from the bank and out of the catchment.

For more information on balsam and for an identification fact sheet please click here

What’s involved?

Spend a few hours walking lengths of stream pulling out balsam plants before they can set seed and help to clear space for native plants to grow.

The work party involves low to moderate exercise, but everything can be taken at your own pace.

Equipment

All you need to bring is lunch, water and some wellies.

All other equipment is supplied, include gloves and sets of waders (if needed).

Balsam bashing events

Please see our events page for more details

Natalie Breden pulling balsam from a brook in Aylesbury

Plants are shallow rooted and easy to remove with a small tug

Balsam forms dense monocultures, blocking out light and space for native plants

This work is possible thanks to the support of Thames Water.