- Created: 06 June 2012
Minister Fergus O’Dowd with Dr. Joe Caffrey (IFI) and one of the volunteer balsam ‘bashers’ on the banks of the River Dodder
Himalayan balsam, native to the western Himalayas, was originally introduced as a garden plant and can now be found throughout the country. The plant negatively impacts native ecosystems by crowding out native species and leaving the river bank exposed during the winter. Fortunately its morphology and life cycle display a number of weaknesses that make balsam bashing an effective control method. The plant’s entire life cycle takes place in a single year, its shallow roots make it easy to pull, it has no thorns or bristles, can only propagate by seed and these seeds tend to germinate after one year. All of this means that continued balsam bashing can be an extremely effective control method.
Balsam bashing crew at Clashganny on the River Barrow
These events, and the others that took place over Fisheries Awareness Week, were aimed at raising awareness of the recreational opportunities afforded by our rivers and lakes and our responsibility to maintaining and improving these natural habitats. The events proved to be most successful and will be staged again in future years.
Balsam bashing crew at Ballincollig on the River Lee