Volunteers needed to help stop pink invader

This is an archived press release

Tuesday 6 July 2010

06 July 2010

Volunteers needed to help stop pink invader

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

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

This month (July) the Peak District National Park Authority and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust are asking for volunteers to help pull up this year’s crop beside the River Derwent near Calver.

National park ecologist Frances Horsford explained: “We need to get rid of it in 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.”

Derwent volunteer days are 10am-3pm, Sunday July 11, Sat July 17 and Sunday July 25. No need to book, meet 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 sorry no dogs. Queries: 01433 631405.

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

This is an archived press release

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