Join a team of volunteers to help clear a vast patch of Himalayan Balsam along the riverbank in Brasted. The dates are Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th June. Two additional dates are planned next month on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th July.

Himalayan Balsam is a non-native invasive species which spreads quickly and forms dense thickets. It successfully competes with our native plant species for space, light and nutrients, altering the ecological balance and character of the river habitat. Its negative influence on mycorrhizal fungi in the soil further weakens the ability of native plants to compete and enables the balsam to create a monoculture of its own species. This then has an indirect negative impact on our native invertebrates that rely on native species to feed.

If Himalayan Balsam is systematically removed before it sets seed, it is possible to achieve complete eradication in a couple of years. To achieve this at Brasted, we need lots of help as it has colonised a huge area. It involves pulling these shallow rooted plants out from the soil and disposing of them.

The volunteer sessions have been organised by North West Kent Countryside Partnership and are led by Mark Gallant.

Dates, Meeting Time and Place: Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th June. Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th July. Meet at 10:15am in the car park at Brasted Recreation Ground (Westerham Road, Brasted, TN16 1HJ). If you are able to join any of these sessions, please let Mark know in advance (Mark.Gallant@kent.gov.uk) including your shoe size for waders.