Set up a community Himalayan balsam group

Himalayan balsam is an invasive non-native species which is a particular problem in the Cocker catchment. Although it has pretty purple flowers, it spreads rapidly, out-competes native plants and chokes river banks. It dies back over the winter, leaving the ground bare and very susceptible to erosion. Invasive species pose a huge threat to biodiversity worldwide, and Himalayan balsam will continue to multiply and completely take over our riverbanks and fields if not tackled. 

We’re looking for help from local communities to reduce Himalayan balsam. 

How to get involved

We are looking for small groups to ‘adopt a stretch’ in the Cocker catchment this summer (2021). This could be a family or community group that is willing to visit a small area regularly from June to August, pulling out the Balsam plants there. Our staff can provide training and support, and pair you with an area that suits your group’s time and ability.

If you are part of a group that would like to ‘adopt a stretch’ then please email