Students bash the balsam

  June 2011


Reaseheath College students










Reaseheath Countryside Management students at the balsam bash in Riverside.




Below: the students in action with a pile of balsam

ready for bashing on the left.

STUDENTS from the Reaseheath College Countryside Management department were out in force in the Nantwich Riverside at the end of May, assisting Riverside Concern and Greenspaces South Cheshire  CIC with the community management of our local green spaces.

   Thanks to funding from Nantwich Town Council, local community group Riverside Concern worked with some 30 students who assisted with the continued management of riverside vegetation as instigated by the former Nantwich Riverside Project.

   Works were facilitated by Greenspaces South Cheshire CIC and involved the removal of the problematic exotic invasive weed known as Himalayan Balsam.

    This activity, sometimes known as "Balsam Bashing", involves working as a group to identify and pull up the weed, then heaping it up and jumping on piles to crush the soft watery stems to ensure that it doesn't re-grow. 
   Himalayan Balsam, a relation of the Bizzy Lizzy, is


a garden escapee which is now causing a huge problem nationally due to its ability to spread very rapidly and choke out native plants and reduce biodiversity.  A single plant is able to produce thousands of seeds which spread from exploding pods and can be easily carried by rivers downstream to spread further.
    Riverside Concern Chairman, Tony Tengwall, said: "Himalayan Balsam is something that we have been dealing with for some years and we are really pleased about the input from Reaseheath College for continued efforts to improve the Nantwich Riverside area for people and wildlife.

    "We would also like to thank Nantwich Town Council who have provided essential funding to ensure that initiatives on the riverside continue via our delivery partner, Greenspaces South Cheshire CIC."


FUNDING NOTE: Last year, Greenspaces South Cheshire CIC received 4,500 from Cheshire Community Action and private donations (see Tales

  Balsam bash

from the Riverside). This year we have received 1,000 from Nantwich Town Council for improvements in Riverside.

Article written by James Thompson, Greenspaces' Executive Director. He also took the picture above.

Main picture: Neville Care, Curriculum Manager, Countryside, Environment and Arboriculture,

Reaseheath College.


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