Saturday, 6 July 2013

Repelling the pink alien invaders

Yep, It's balsam bashing again. I appreciate that this has been a regular topic on this blog, but removing balsam from the Hempstead Meadows Nature Reserve has dominated my Saturday mornings for the last 6 weeks. This week was particularly rewarding as Matt (the local ranger) had rounded up about half a dozen of us including Lee and Josh, who each managed to pull as much as the rest of us put together. It was the usual routine of identifying the balsam, pulling it out and leaving it by the side of the path to dry.

An armful of Himalayan balsam

All the plants in the reserve are growing tall now making it difficult to get at some of the balsams. A thick sea of nettles and other plants on the North side of the path prevented us from getting to some that are already in flower. If we can't get to them before they seed, there will be many more to pull up next year.

This sort of task day, for Hempstead Meadow and Uckfield's other green spaces looks to become a regular feature of town life. I find it tremendously satisfying work and it is a real antidote to a working life spent hammering away at a computer keyboard. If you feel like getting involved, ask Matt to put you on the email list.

As an aside, on the way home, I saw two young robins searching for food at the South end of Lime Tree Avenue. They have the same rounded shape as the adults but not the red breast.

Now at home and chilling out after fighting the alien invador. What should I watch? Doctor Who or War of the Worlds?

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