Himalayan balsam - again

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nedsram
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Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby nedsram » Thu May 13, 2010 4:51 pm

nedsram wrote:How depressing. I decided to have a walk round Bramall Park this evening. It's spreading rapidly. I've just emailed the local councillor (Helen Foster-Grime, LD) about it, on the grounds that emailing the council is a complete waste of time. :cry:

It would appear that they are aware of the problem. However actions speak louder than words.

John Ellis
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Location: The Township of Norbury in Hazel Grove.

Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby John Ellis » Fri May 14, 2010 3:38 pm

nedsram wrote:
nedsram wrote:How depressing. I decided to have a walk round Bramall Park this evening. It's spreading rapidly. I've just emailed the local councillor (Helen Foster-Grime, LD) about it, on the grounds that emailing the council is a complete waste of time. :cry:

It would appear that they are aware of the problem. However actions speak louder than words.

Surely they'll never get on top of the infestation if seeds keep washing down the Lady Brook. The same brook, upstream and known up here as the Norbury Brook, runs near me, though, unlike the Poise, I've not noticed any sign of balsam along it at this end. I'll look again more carefully next time I walk the footpaths alongside it. Though gardens run down to it at Mill Hill Hollow, and again at Bramhall Green upstream of the park, and I guess it only takes one garden to introduce it on the banks below.

You might do better to telephone Helen F-G - her number's on the council website.
Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar ...

nedsram
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Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby nedsram » Fri May 14, 2010 4:41 pm

John Ellis wrote:The same brook, upstream and known up here as the Norbury Brook, runs near me, though, unlike the Poise, I've not noticed any sign of balsam along it at this end. I'll look again more carefully next time I walk the footpaths alongside it. Though gardens run down to it at Mill Hill Hollow, and again at Bramhall Green upstream of the park, and I guess it only takes one garden to introduce it on the banks below.

I walk round there from time to time. So far there is no balsam. But the original point of this thread was that it has escaped from a property in High Lane near Middlewood Way, and has now reached Middlewood Way near the station. I expect that this year, or at the latest, next year, seeds will find their way into Norbury Brook, and infest Norbury Hollow and downstream. And the reason for emailing Stockport Leisure was to alert them to this, as a quick cull at this stage by the rangers would only take a few hours, and could nip the problem in the bud. In fact I did spend about 15 minutes ripping it out the other week, until I noticed that a lady walking her dog was looking at me rather oddly. :oops:

I agree that people downstream are fighting a losing battle, and I feel sorry for what is happening in Bramhall Park, especially as a Poyntonian, as it's all down to somebody in the Midway area of Poynton letting seeds escape into Poynton Brook. And this only happened two or three years ago! There ought to be a ban on growing the stuff.

It can be controlled though. If it's eradicated in an area, next year there will only be a few plants next to the water, where new seeds have washed up. Provided these are removed each year before they set seed, it will not spread again. What they should do is publicise the problem, and encourage people to rip it out on sight. An article in the local rag would be a start. How about "Triffid rampages out of control in Bramall Park", together with "before and after" pictures of what damage it causes.

tess
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Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby tess » Fri May 14, 2010 5:17 pm

See www.happyvalleybramhall.co.uk to see what the Friends of Ladybrook Valley are doing regarding the
balsam - 3 days balsam bashing over the next few months. :clap

nedsram
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Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby nedsram » Fri May 14, 2010 6:09 pm

tess wrote:See http://www.happyvalleybramhall.co.uk to see what the Friends of Ladybrook Valley are doing regarding the
balsam - 3 days balsam bashing over the next few months. :clap

Good news. I hope to attend at least one of the bashes.

John Ellis
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:52 am
Location: The Township of Norbury in Hazel Grove.

Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby John Ellis » Sat May 15, 2010 12:51 pm

tess wrote:See http://www.happyvalleybramhall.co.uk to see what the Friends of Ladybrook Valley are doing regarding the
balsam - 3 days balsam bashing over the next few months. :clap

Proves the point - no wonder there's balsam in Bramall Park if there's infestation upstream at "Happy Valley". Presumably it's been introduced somewhere between Norbury and Bramhall Green, as there's no sign of it along the Norbury Brook at my end ... I'll try to get to one of the advertised "bashes" too, though as my "other half" claims use of the car Sunday mornings negotiation may be necessary for me to get there!
Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar ...

nedsram
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Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby nedsram » Sat May 15, 2010 1:05 pm

John Ellis wrote:
tess wrote:See http://www.happyvalleybramhall.co.uk to see what the Friends of Ladybrook Valley are doing regarding the
balsam - 3 days balsam bashing over the next few months. :clap

Proves the point - no wonder there's balsam in Bramall Park if there's infestation upstream at "Happy Valley". Presumably it's been introduced somewhere between Norbury and Bramhall Green, as there's no sign of it along the Norbury Brook at my end ... I'll try to get to one of the advertised "bashes" too, though as my "other half" claims use of the car Sunday mornings negotiation may be necessary for me to get there!

John

As I said before, it originates in Poynton. Escaped seeds from a garden on the Vernon Road estate getting into Poynton Brook. This only happened a few years ago, and now it's all the way down Poynton Brook to Mill Hill Hollow, then all the way down the Ladybrook Valley to Cheadle. Thanks a million some Poynton resident. :twisted: :twisted:

John Ellis
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Location: The Township of Norbury in Hazel Grove.

Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby John Ellis » Sun May 16, 2010 11:33 am

nedsram wrote:
As I said before, it originates in Poynton. Escaped seeds from a garden on the Vernon Road estate getting into Poynton Brook. This only happened a few years ago, and now it's all the way down Poynton Brook to Mill Hill Hollow, then all the way down the Ladybrook Valley to Cheadle. Thanks a million some Poynton resident. :twisted: :twisted:

Whoops - not looked at my map properly! Hadn't grasped that the Poynton Brook flows into the Norbury/Lady Brook ... You're right, there seems no other explanation. We walked through Poynton Coppice only a couple of weeks back and noticed no signs of balsam on the banks there when we crossed the stream, so if balsam starts appearing downstream of the Vernon Estate, yours is the only explanation.
Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar ...

nedsram
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Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby nedsram » Wed May 26, 2010 8:49 pm

To return to the original topic - Middlewood Way. I decided to have a walk round there this evening. I walked along the LVIT from Middlewood Way just north of the station, across the stream, and up to where the path crosses the railway line. I was horrified to see that there were significant numbers of the weed growing on both sides of the stream next to the footbridge. Some seeds must already have landed in the stream as well, so it is probably already too late. If so, I would expect the whole of Norbury Brook downstream to be infested next year, and hundreds more seeds will end up in the stream when the seed pods burst this autumn.

Despite my email to Stockport Leisure a few weeks ago I did not see any evidence that any attempt had been made to remove the plants next to Middlewood Way - although there are now about 200 fewer than there were earlier today. (200 out of several million. :cry: ) If anybody cares about this problem, I suggest that they visit the area next to the stream wearing wellies and rip up as much as they can. It would make a great day out for the kids! All plants within 50 yards of the stream could be removed within an hour or so. And if that was repeated each year, at least we could keep the problem under some sort of control.

Sadly I have a feeling that - John apart - I am ploughing a lone furrow here. Please feel free to prove me wrong.

An additional comment. I raised the Bramall Park issue with a local councillor, and have had a positive response, which could result in significant action being taken there to remove the stuff. Action that will ultimately prove pretty futile unless the sources of the infestation in Poynton and Middlewood are eradicated.

John Ellis
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Location: The Township of Norbury in Hazel Grove.

Re: Himalayan balsam - again

Postby John Ellis » Thu May 27, 2010 10:21 am

Well, you've certainly made two converts, nedsram, since I wasn't really aware of this problem until you highlighted it. At the end of the summer before last, my other half and I had noticed the plant in quantity at the side of Occupier's Lane, which leads to Hazel Grove Golf Club's club house, and I knew it was unfamiliar, but didn't know what it was and had no idea that it spread so virulently.

Now we do, and the other half and I spent a while ripping this year's growth up from a patch of the laneside just west of the club house while we were out walking last Sunday evening. Fortunately, being an annual and preferring damp places, it's shallow-rooted, and comes up easily. The problem is just the sheer amount of the stuff. Curiously, though, there didn't seem to be as much of it about as there was last year - at least so far - although there's been no treatment of it there, as far as I know.

I sent an e-mail to that councillor explaining how invasive the thing can be - she's not a gardening buff or countryside obsessive like me! - and suggesting that effective tackling of the problem in Bramall Park/Happy Valley will really require co-operation between Stockport and East Cheshire, as streams and balsam seeds are no respecters of municipal boundaries, and, if the Poynton infestation isn't sorted, there'll be no hope of finally eradicating the stuff downstream - it'll just be an endless holding operation. I forgot to mention to her the infestation near Middlewood station, where the same need for co-operation arises, since the Norbury brook is the boundary between the two authorities up there too. It'll be particularly sad if the stuff infests the brook banks near me, as the stretch of stream between Norbury Hollow and Norbury old mill is Woodland Trust-listed, never-cultivated ancient woodland, and at this time of year is filled - despite kids using it for mountain-biking! - with native bluebells and wild garlic. Not much chance of those surviving the balsam.

But I doubt that, particularly in the present financial climate, there'll be a serious attempt to tackle it by the local authorities, because, although the thing's invasive, it's relatively benign - at least in comparison with Japanese knotweed. Today's papers - see the "Daily Wail", for instance - report that a guy in Cornwall had his attempt to remortgage his house rejected because he's got the dreaded knotweed in his garden. The building society's told him his house is unsaleable. Nasty though it is, balsam doesn't cause problems like that, and because it doesn't, I doubt councils will have the will to put enough resources into the really systematic and thoroughgoing eradication that would be necessary to make a real difference.
Rhydd i bob meddwl ei farn, ac i bob barn ei llafar ...


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