Save The Ribble

A blog dedicated to preserving the beauty and delicate ecosystem of the River Ribble, and opposing the Riverworks 'vision' to build a barrage on our River and develop on our riverbanks, floodplains and green spaces, causing damage to wildlife and the environment and increasing the risk of flooding to our homes. Save the Ribble Campaign is not responsible for the content of external blogs or websites which link here.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Ribbleside Balsam Blitz

A huge THANKYOU to those hardy Ribbleside residents - and Lesley of Action Ribble Estuary - for coming along and Bashing some Balsam by the Ribble on Friday, despite some truly awful weather!

The weather started off fair enough, quite warm if a little cloudy, and we all got stuck in right away as we spotted a few clumps as we walked towards the Preston railway bridge where the Balsam Bash was due to officially begin!

Here at the railway bridge the Balsam is really getting a foothold - the natural riverbank plants are completely submerged...

... so we got stuck straight in...

...pulling up the shallow-rooted Balsam plants and heaping them into piles and giving them a good trample occasionally for good measure! - they have to stay where they are pulled up to prevent them spreading further.
In just a couple of hours we had cleared thousands of plants from this one area beneath the bridge - and the bridge kindly sheltered us from the worst of the weather when the rain decided to join in!

And look what we found - the Ribble's natural reeds emerging from the gloom cast by the Balsam.

Whilst we did manage to destroy a significant number of Balsam plants, and rescue the riverbank plants struggling to survive here...

...there is still a great deal of work to be done, however.... if you were unable to join us due to working commitments on Friday, we are planning to continue Bashing Balsam along the riverbanks in Penwortham from about 10.30am until 12.30pm every Saturday morning for the rest of July!

Areas we will be concentrating on are those stretches of the riverbank and paths on the Penwortham bank either side of the railway bridge (i.e.opposite Avenham & Miller Parks and the New Continental pub). Even if you can't join us, every time you walk by the river and spot some Himalyan Balsam...

...pull a few out while you are walking by!

WHEN BALSAM BASHING, please remember to be careful not to get too close to the river's edge as some of the banks are steep and slippery, watch out for Giant Hogweed (i.e.DON'T touch it!), and ENJOY the task knowing that EVERY plant you pull up will prevent 800 more plants next year, and 640,000 the year after that!!

Happy Ribbling!

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"The care of rivers is not a question of rivers, but of the human heart" Tanako Shozo Save The Ribble Logo