Anglesey gets to grips with pink invader

An Anglesey partnership is succeeding in its efforts to stop an invasive plant damaging Welsh wildlife.

The non native Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) has already spread to many Anglesey river banks and can often be seen standing up to two metres tall, displaying prominent pink flowers.

It is an annual plant that rapidly spreads along areas of wet ground, choking the life out of native plants and robbing local wildlife of a valuable food source. Once the plant dies in the autumn it leaves areas of bare ground which are susceptible to erosion, which can also lead to flooding or put fish at risk.

Last year wildlife groups joined forces with government departments and Anglesey landowners in a coordinated effort to tackle this invasive plant. Efforts have been made to raise awareness of the need to control Himalayan Balsam with volunteers and contractors brought into control it.

The Anglesey Himalayan Balsam Partnership includes the County Council’s Countryside and AONB Service; Menter Môn; Countryside Council for Wales; North Wales Wildlife Trust; British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Anglesey’s Countryside and AONB Service has been tackling the plant at the Dingle Nature reserve with noticeable decrease in the amount of Himalayan Balsam compared to previous years.

AONB Project Officer, Efan Milner, was recently successful in securing a £15,000 Tidy Towns grant to clear Himalayan Balsam along the Cefni.