A little while ago the Woodland Trust asked for some volunteers to help Sandra, of the TrUck project, to remove some of the Himalayan balsam which, in their words, "is getting a foothold in a couple of places within the wood". A couple of months ago I had noticed small seedlings beginning to grow amongst the bluebells and other wild flowers. Now those 'seedlings' are taller than I am. If left to grow and spread, they would soon overwhelm the other wild flowers and cause other problems as explained in The River Uck - not so pretty in pink.
Himalayan Balsam in Views (Williams) Wood.
Unfortunately, I couldn't join the rest of the party so I went and did some by myself. As described in an earlier post, I have done this before and am happy that I can identify the plants properly. The work itself is reasonably easy, it is just a matter of pulling up these shallow rooted plants and stacking them by the path. I was there from about quarter past nine and had the wood more-or-less to myself. The only noise was birdsong and church bells, which was lovely. While I worked in the shade of the trees, I saw many different types of wild flowers including dainty enchanter's nightshade, speedwell and red campion.
As I progressed and the heap of discarded Himalayan balsam got higher inquisitive dogs nosed around my work and their owners stopped for a chat. Later joggers and family groups passed by.
Heap of Himalayan balsam.
After about two and a half hours I went home, having spent an enjoyable morning getting rid of an alien invader - and don't worry - I'm not greedy, there is more balsam for other people to pull up.