Balsam Bashers along the Sid

There is real concern that invasive species are doing harm to the biodiversity of the River:

Invasive species on the Sid – The Sid

The Sid Balsam Bashers have been around for some time – with this plea from 2014:

Volunteers needed to help ‘bash the balsam’ in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald

It certainly does seem a thankless task at times – but there is renewed determination, with this piece from last month:

Volunteer Jane Bell making headway amongst a thick patch of Himalayan Balsam – Credit: Charles Sinclair

Sidmouth biodiversity: Town’s balsam bashers | Sidmouth Herald

Here’s the latest from the town council’s environment newsletter: 

The Sid bashers’ aim to defeat Noxious Himalayan Balsam. Our past work over the years have made serious inroads into ridding our valley of this destructive weed. We have managed to clear vast tracts in areas around the middle of the river Sid below Sidford.

We are recommencing in May with working parties every Tuesday mornings from 9.30am to 12.30 pm. We aim to start work then to catch the early growth and continue clearance work up to the time seeds are set to “explode” in late summer. Unfortunately, we are finding that areas cleared are being subject to invasion by Japanese knotweed. Investigations are being carried out into ways and means of tackling this and advice sought on how outbreaks can be treated. We are seeking more volunteers to join with our teams to help clear these noxious weeds from out Sid Valley.

Please visit our SIB web site sidmouthinbloom. org or contact us info@


Here’s a discussion of the issues on the Sid Valley Biodiversity Group’s social media:

Sid Valley Biodiversity Group | Biological Control of Himalayan | Facebook

And to finish, here’s an alternative take from Pete Yeo of Future Flora on why invasive plants may actually be good for the environment:

Why Balsam Bashing Might Be Wrong: A New Way Of Looking At Invasive Plants