In the thick of it!

2 members of the Friends of Wombrook volunteer conservation group battle with the Himalayan Balsam , from within the Brook, last Saturday morning.

Anita and Margaret were photographed from above on the southern bank of the Brook, at the picnic area. You could be easily forgiven for mistaking this location to that of a tropical rainforest jungle, such is the density of the floral growth in this part of the Brook, made worse by the presence of the Himalayan Balsam.

One Reply to “In the thick of it!”

  1. The Barton Fields Green Team in Abingdon, Oxfordshire(encouraged by Marjorie White, Warden of the Abbey Fishponds nature reserve who managed to clear Himalayan Balsam from her reserve in three years) have been clearing Himalayan Balsam by hand-pulling for two years from two sites and have seen water vole populations increase from near extinction to burgeoning numbers and isolated populations starting to extend towards colonies on each site. We would be very grateful, if you have water voles on your site, to let us know whether you notice water vole numbers increasing with Himalayan Balsam removal. You should find native plants such as Purple Loosestrife, Meadow Sweet, Hemp Agrimony and Comfrey as well as grasses and other flora should quickly colonise cleared areas and offer the water vole its essential food. The native plants just mentioned have woody stems and are essential for water vole teeth maintenance. They have non-rooted teeth and need woody stems to keep their teeth worn down. Himalayan Balsam has hollow stems and water voles cannot survive in ditches/streams or rivers that are overrun with monoculture Himalayan Balsam.

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