Join forces with local conservationists in their annual battle against the Himalayan Balsam growing along the banks of Wigglesworth Beck (North Yorkshire)! See event listing here:

Saturday 22nd July, 10 am – 12 noon

MEET: Wigglesworth Beck, next to the track leading to Wigglesworth Hall, Wigglesworth, Skipton, BD23 4RL. Grid reference: SD 81061 57451.

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive plant species that outcompetes native plant species for nutrients, space, light and pollinators, and therefore reduces native biodiversity. It also has shallow roots and, as it dies back over winter, leaves river banks with little winter vegetation. Both of these factors increase the risk of river bank erosion and the associated sedimentation of rivers, which negatively affects the health of rivers and the species that depend on them.

WHO? Local conservation groups have been pulling out the Balsam at Wigglesworth Beck for the past few years. The difference is noticeable, with less Balsam now growing than there was a few years ago. However, to keep the Balsam under control and eventually eradicate it, we need to keep pulling it up – this is where you come in!

WHAT TO BRING: Bring (clean) wellies and gardening gloves if you have them (a small number of each will be available for those who don’t). You will be walking in the (relatively easily accessible) beck, so please ensure there are no seeds or mud on your wellies that could pollute the watercourse. As it’s the north of England, please come prepared for all weathers with sun cream, insect repellent and waterproof clothing. Please also be aware that there are nettles at this site.

It is advised that you bring a drink and a snack, however refreshments and biscuits will be provided.

There are plenty of caches within a 10 mile radius of the site, so after you’ve done your good deed for the morning, why not enjoy an afternoon of geocaching?

Please log your visit and the number in your party so we know how many helpers to expect – we wouldn’t want to have a shortage of biscuits!