Annual Himalayan Balsam Pulling in the local SSSI, Ladies Spring Wood – Saturday 23rd July 2022
Three members of the Monday Group and two regulars from Abbeydale Rotary Club set about this year’s attack on Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed in our local SSSI. This regular task is one of the few we have been able to continue through the two years of the pandemic. As a preliminary recce a fortnight earlier had suggested, this year’s crop was neither as prolific nor as advanced in growth as in previous years. Also very few plants were in flower, even though this cull was two weeks later than in 2021. The usual stretch of the River Sheaf was targeted, from Dore Station to the weir, as no growth further downstream had been detected. A combined count of about 850 stems of Himalayan Balsam were uprooted, including some from the west bank of the river, so considerably down on last year’s estimate of around 2000. The situation with Japanese Knotweed was less encouraging, with 21 stems pulled up, and a noticeable patch was also seen, but not uprooted on the far side of the river. Last year we had dealt with only 5 or 6 plants! Thanks to all the volunteers who came along to carry out this vital work for the maintenance of SSSI status for this ancient woodland.