Rotarians help bash Himalayan Balsam at Jacob Smith Park

Rotarians John Dawson and Leslie Couldwell with Chandy Koria.
Rotarians John Dawson and Leslie Couldwell with Chandy Koria.

Knaresborough Rotarians have joined the Friends of Jacob Smith Park in Knaresborough to help ‘bash’ the invasive Himalayan Balsam.

First introduced to the UK in 1839, Himalayan Balsam is native to the Himalayas, specifically to the areas between Kashmir and Uttarakhand.

The aggressive seed dispersal, coupled with high nectar production which attracts pollinators, often allows the Himalayan Balsam to outcompete native plants.

Himalayan Balsam also promotes river bank erosion due to the plant dying back over winter, leaving the bank unprotected from flooding.

Secretary of the Friends of Jacob Smith Park, Jo Smalley said: “It was so nice to have the help and the company of the Rotarians that came to help with our balsam bash on Friday evening.”

The 30 acres of Jacob Smith Park was generously donated to the people of Knaresborough by Miss Winifred Jacob Smith MBE following her death in 2003.

The park is managed by Harrogate Borough Council but also needs volunteers to keep it in good order. More information can be found at www.jacobsmithpark.co.uk.