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2016 - the battle with the balsam continues

Published: 27/06/2016

On Saturday 2 July, Flintshire County Council’s Environment and Conservation team will be launching their annual balsam control season at Leadmills sports field in Mold. This is part of a long running project to tackle the invasive non-native plant, Himalayan balsam. Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Bernie Attridge, said: “The project has joined people from local communities, conservation groups, and fishing clubs together in a huge effort to clear the banks of the River Alyn. We’ve succeeded in clearing around 20km from the source and now really need the communities affected by the plant from Mold downstream to join us in the fight.” The benefits include: · Reclaiming land next to the river · Preventing winter erosion of the river banks, when the Himalayan balsam dies back · Providing opportunities for our native wildflowers to grow · Improving the variety of riverside vegetation, useful to our native wildlife Sarah Slater, the organiser of the event and Flintshire’s Biodiversity Officer, said: “This is a great event that all the family can enjoy, its completely flexible so you can just pop down for as long as you want between 10am and 12pm on Saturday 2 July. Generally people find it’s really enjoyable and strangely addictive. We’ll be working our way along the Leadmills stretch of the River Alyn, so it’s a lovely stretch of the river and we’ll be able to see our progress. “Pulling the balsam is the best method of control on this section of the river now because it is usually mixed in with other plants, so we can pull it up without clearing the banks of other vegetation which is good, because we know otters use the river here and they like the riverside cover.” If you would like more information about the project or the event, please contact Sarah Slater, Biodiversity Officer for Flintshire County Council 01352 703263, The event will run on 2 July between 10am and 12pm at Leadmills sports field, King Street, CH7 1LG in Mold.