Newlay: Balsam bashers appeal for help to save bluebells


A group of West Leeds volunteers will be tackling an alien invader threatening native bluebells at an event this weekend.

Members of the public are invited to join Newlay and Whitecotes Residents’ Association (NAWRA) volunteers in tackling the onset of Himalayan Balsam at the annual ‘balsam bash’ this Saturday in Bramley Fall Woods.

Before the last Bramley balsam bash: Plants were 6ft tall.

Himalayan Balsam reaches well over head height, and is a major weed problem on riverbanks and waste land. The weed, introduced to this country in 1939, grows rapidly and spreads quickly, smothering other vegetation such as native bluebells.

A NAWRA spokesperson said:

“We have been managing the blasam in our woods for many years and some parts are really showing an improvement. However, we need you to come and help us do it 🙂  We will be pulling up the balsam which helps protect the indigenous flora without damaging it.”

The event runs from 10am to 12 noon. Meet at the changing rooms car park on Pollard Lane. Attendees are advised to wear suitable outdoor clothing and bring their own gloves if possible.

Ideas wanted

NAWRA’s AGM will be held on June 28, at the Abbey Inn, starting 7.30pm. As well as electing officials, people can discuss ideas for improving Newlay and learn more about volunteering opportunities.


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