What’s the Problem?

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive, non-native plant that reproduces rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering and pushing out our indigenous plants, particularly along riverbanks, lakeshores and the edges of streams. It was introduced to the UK in 1839 and quickly escaped into the wild. Our native species simply can’t compete.

It’s a huge problem and there’s no easy way to tackle it. Elbow grease and the energy and enthusiasm of willing volunteers are the most effective tools in fighting this alien invader.

The Fight the Aliens – Big Balsam Bash offers the chance for you to get to grips (literally) with this increasingly pervasive weed.

What’s happening at the Fight the Aliens – Big Balsam Bash? Round Two!

Last year we brought together a fighting force of volunteers to work in groups around Rydal to attempt a mass-removal of Himalayan Balsam. They did a fantastic job and the difference is obvious in the areas that we hit hard last year. But Himalayan Balsam is a pesky and persistent blighter; it creeps back again so the bashing needs doing for a few more years to eradicate it. So ding-ding! It’s time for Round Two.

The majority of the work will involve pulling Balsam by hand and breaking the stem at the root. It’s not technical so anyone who’s physically mobile can do it. Skilled and qualified brush-cutters will also be on site to do the jobs that would be too time-consuming for hands.

It’s a very satisfying task!

How you can help tackle the problem.
Simply give us a few hours of your time and effort on Saturday 11th July. We will put all the necessary precautions in place to ensure your safety in relation to Covid-19.

Sign up to help Fight the Aliens below. We’ll send you all the info you need for a safe, fun and satisfying day.

* Covid-19 Advice and Information.

  • The max number per group will be 6.
  • Volunteers must travel separately or with members of their household or ‘bubble’.
  • Volunteers will work 2m apart (or 1m dependent on current government advice)
  • Volunteers must bring their own gloves.
  • Please bring hand sanitiser. We will also have some available.
  • If you have booked on to the event but feel unwell prior to 11th July or on the day, or have been in contact with others or are unwell with possible Covid-19 symptoms, please do not attend on the day.

Sign up to help Fight the Aliens below. We’ll send you all the info you need for a safe, fun and satisfying day.

Fight the Aliens – Big Balsam Bash is a partnership campaign between Friends of the Lake District and South Cumbria Rivers Trust with the support of the following:


Rydal Estate and C & S Hodgson (Rydal Hall Farm)

Personal information you give us will be passed to walk leaders on the day.

*Please note: Further information will be sent to you approximately one week prior to the event. This will relate to parking and meeting arrangements. 

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