Essex Rivers Hub

Reducing the Impact of Himalayan Balsam

Large areas of the banks in this area are left completely bare over winter as they are dominated by Himalayan Balsam in the spring and summer. This plant dies back to nothing after the first frost then returns to the banks in spring.

 This has a negative effect on the river as bare banks over winter increase the amount of silt that enters the channel when it rains and reduces the habitats available to over-wintering wildlife.

As Himalayan Balsam dominates the banks in spring and summer this reduces the number of other plant species that can grow and therefore out competes native plants reducing their populations.

Removal of this plant needs to be tackled at catchment level to eliminate it completely but this area needs to be tackled urgently to reduce silt levels here. 

RBD/catchment/river/tributary

River Crouch

WFD water body status

Moderate

WFD overall status objective

To achieve Good ecological status by 2027

Project type

Non-native invasive species control

Benefiting species and/or habitats

By removing Himalayan Balsam more native plant species could thrive on the banks and bankside plants would be present all year round.

Project lead

Jane Herbert

Contact for more information

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Project partners

Essex Wildlife Trust, Essex Biodiversity Project and the Environment Agency.

Funding source

None at present

Website key stakeholders:

Environment Agency logo      Essex Wildlife Trust logo            Essex Biodiversity Project logo

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting based on an original concept by Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust