Keeping streams clear

by Lucy Care on 17 September, 2015


Himalayan balsam in the Hell Brook by Meadow Brook Close in Heatherton.

The pretty pink flowers of the Himalayan balsam are past their best, but the plant is ready to do its worst.  This invasive plant loves damp places and grows along most rivers and streams in Britain, squeezing out many native plants.  At this time of year the seed heads are ripening, ready to scatter their seeds for next year’s plants.

The Environment Agency has responsibility for most of the Hell Brook, as a significant water course.  Recently they did a good job of removing much of the Himalayan balsam growing in the brook in Heatherton – but in the section behind the Meadow Brook Close houses they cleared down only one side.

By next spring this will have been a waste of time, as the remaining plants will have seeded the other side of the brook and new young plants will be springing up.  It may be that the houses here have ‘riparian’ responsibility for their side of the brook, and the Environment Agency did not have permission from the households to do this work.  I am trying to find out.

For more on Himalayan balsam and other invasive species read a previous piece from me here.

There is loads of details from the Environment Agency on riparian responsibilities here.

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