Act now to help stop pink invader

This is an archived press release

Monday 24 May 2010

21 May 2010

Act now to help stop pink invader

Ecologist Frances Horsford with Himalayan Balsam

Volunteers are needed to help stop the non-native Himalayan balsam having a devastating impact along Peak District riversides.

Spreading along riverbanks, the pink-flowered invader engulfs native species and causes erosion which affects bankside wildlife.

Now the Peak District National Park Authority, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Trent Rivers Trust are asking for volunteers to help pull up this year’s crop from the Derwent, Dove, Hamps and Manifold valleys.

National park ecologist Frances Horsford explained: “We need to get rid of it in June/July/August before it seeds. Each plant produces up to 800 seeds in pods that ‘explode’ on touch, catapulting the seed up to seven metres. In autumn it dies back leaving bare banks.

“It was introduced to gardens in the 1800s, but quickly escaped and now threatens the biodiversity of our riversides. We’d be very grateful for people’s help before it’s too late.”

The first volunteer day is Wednesday June 2 from 10am to 3pm along the River Dove, meeting at Hulme End car park. Volunteers must be over 18 and reasonably fit. They need to bring wellies, gloves, waterproofs, a packed lunch and drinks but no dogs. Booking essential on 01298 84992.

Volunteer days on the Derwent are 10am-3pm, Sunday July 11, Sat July 17 and Sunday July 25, meeting near Calver crossroads on A623, by the playing fields (opposite Peaklander Footwear). Gloves, goggles and drinks are provided, bring wellies and refreshments. Children must be with an adult, and again no dogs. Queries: 01433 631405.

For news of other volunteer days, contact Derbyshire Wildlife Trust on 01773 881188.

This is an archived press release

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