This summer saw the completion of our survey of the River Bure. Throughout July and August, over 20 RINSE volunteers surveyed the River Bure from source to sea, hunting down the infamous Himalayan balsam, and any other invasive plants that they came across.
Himalayan balsam is an invasive annual that was introduced to the UK as an ornamental plant in the early 1800’s. The plant can now be found in dense thickets along river banks, often out-competing native vegetation and significantly increasing the susceptibility of banks to erosion.
To coordinate the management of this species in the Broads, it is vital that we have accurate and reliable data on its current distribution. Pairs of volunteers were assigned sections of the river which they walked in their own time and recorded sightings of Himalayan balsam and other invasive plants. Some of them even did it using our App - ‘That’s Invasive!’
Below you can see a map of our results. The hotspots for Himalayan Balsam appear to be concentrated towards the upper reaches of the river at Saxthorpe, and another further into the Broads themselves at Wroxham.
With this information, RINSE can begin to coordinate the management and control of this invasive plant, focusing our efforts on the ‘source’ of the infestation.
Photo Credit: Himalayan Balsam (GBNNSS)