Seven of us returned to Bute Park to remove some of the Himalayan balsam which threatens so much habitat around Cardiff.
We pulled up quite a large area, unfortunately uncovering new areas of the arguably worse Japanese knotweed yet fortunately also one patch of native bluebells which was completely covered by balsam. Although bluebells emerge and flower first, the balsam isn't too far behind and it swamps the bluebells of valuable sunlight which will diminish the bluebells strength in future years. My guess is that this may lead to the plant flowering later or just growing more slowly in future years. Moreover, as we pull up the balsam to help the bleubells, there is a chance that any seeds may be pulled up with the small amount of soil associated with the balsam. Either way, the ground flora of native plant species is threatened by the balsam, even in places where only ground ivy appears to present. This is surprising as this is in areas of very high shade. I do have to take my hat off to this extremely tolerant plant.
On this trip we discovered a patch of variegated-leaved Himalayan balsam. I have seen similar patterns on glyphosate treated plant leaves, but this was from a patch deep in the balsam. In any case, all of it was pulled up, so we may never know the answer to that mystery.
Anyway, job done and 2 hours later while walking back down through Bute Park and I was amazed by the massive quantity of balsam present here. This story is repeated all the way up the Taff, along the Ely and no doubt also the Rumney. If you want to find out what you can do to stop this menace, please don't hesitate to contact me on 07717 412 270 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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About Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns' work in Cardiff
Hi, my name is Chris Partridge and I am Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns Project Officer for Cardiff. Activities we undertake are often in partnership with Cardiff Council's Parks Department (both waste services and Community Park Rangers) and Street Cleansing. We have organised events for several businesses across Cardiff and is happy to accommodate future requests. For more information you can contact Chris on 07717 412 270 or by Email: email@example.com You can also follow me on Twitter for upcoming events @CardiffKWT