BP helps us tackle the invasive Himalayan balsam

June 20, 2017

Last week over 40 volunteers from BP joined the River Dee Trust for an active day on the banks of the Dee, at Maryculter. The day was spent pulling up Himalayan balsam, an invasive non-native plant that has overwhelmed native vegetation on large swathes of river bank on the lower Dee.

See the video of the day

The big team of enthusiastic volunteers covered a large area during the day and can be satisfied that they’ve helped to restore part of their local environment, that cuts through the heart of Aberdeen. We extend a big thank you to the BP volunteers who came out and got to work.

Our work over the last two years shows that removing Himalayan balsam before it can set seed really helps native vegetation to recover the following year. So, although we will need to re-visit the areas over several years, the scale of the problem should diminish year after year.

The River Dee Trust and Board are delivering invasive non-native plant removal throughout the Dee catchment, with the focus being where the problem is greatest – downstream from Drumoak. As well as Himalayan balsam, we are removing giant hogweed, Japanese knotweed and American skunk cabbage. These plants out-compete native vegetation, overwhelming the river banks and sometimes making public access to the areas impossible. These plants also die back over the winter, leaving river banks unprotected from winter floods and so liable to erosion.

We are always looking for volunteers to help with our invasive plants programme, so contact the River Office if you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities.

For any companies or groups who would like to spend the day with us on the river bank, please get in touch and we can discuss options to suit your group.

Contact us at info@riverdee.org 01339 880411

Thanks also to the Robert Gordon University, who kindly hosted the group for lunch and provided use of their lecture theatre for a lunchtime talk.