Every year the Himalayan Balsam grows and spreads along the river valleys. It has a pretty pink flower and can grow up to 2 metres or more high. The seed pods have always been noted for how they explode open and the seeds travel up to 7 metres. Many people even showed their children how much fun it was to pop them open, what fun it was to see them explode and send their seeds up in the air.
That is before they realised it was such an invasive species, which should be eradicated.
It was originally introduced by the Victorians, who planted it in their gardens.
It has spreads every year and can now be found all over the country.
This year some of the BisCan group decided to do something about our local area, especially in the Toadsmoor valley between Bisley and Eastcombe. With more than 20 volunteers from Eastcombe and Bisley we set about pulling it up by the roots.
Thank you for all those who volunteered, especially Baiju and Penny who supplied refreshments. Mega thank you to Michelle, Mark and James who went beyond the valley to pull up Balsam every time they walked their dog.
And a special thank you to the children from Thomas Keble who came and helped for a morning.
If you walk through the valley, please note how few plants are in the valley now.
The hill sides have a few escapees, if you see any, please feel free to pull them up.
Next year we will try all over again.
Let me know if you would like to join us.