Country diary: an army of volunteers is no match for the Himalayan balsam

Country diary: an army of volunteers is no match for the Himalayan balsam

Wellington, Somerset: We pull it up for hours but eventually retreat, beaten by this invasive, fast proliferating weed

It’s mid-September and the Himalayan balsam is on the march.

A band of volunteers has gathered in the little wild wetland that our group looks after. The railway embankment along one side is brimming over with pink and white flowers. They float above the brambles, froth along the pathways and decorate the streamside. It’s an absolute nightmare.

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