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River Frome Friends’ Big Balsam Bash!

THERE has been a lot of activity recently by the Friends of the River Frome. f584 FoRF Balsam Bash

The main project led by Dorothy Anne Bryant of FoRF has been to make a concerted effort to reduce the spread of Himalayan Balsam from the river banks through the town.

Teams of volunteers have been working on a weekly basis along the banks pulling up this most invasive of weeds which spreads so rapidly, smothering native plant life and habitat. It is in the UK’s top 10 invasive species!

The River Friends have been helped by volunteers from North Hill House, and a group of Frome college students on work experience and a significant impact has been made by all.

However, next year’s seed must be prevented from ripening and July and August are the main flowering months so FoRF are launching Frome Balsam Week, 12th-17th August to encourage and welcome as much help as possible.

Nick Ray, chairman of FoRF said, “Frome’s mayor Dickon Moore has already picked River Friends as one of his chosen charities’s to support and he will be coming to our Big Bash on Monday evening 12th August at 6.00pm to get pulling with us.  It’s a very easy weed to identify and pull up from the roots and sharing a walk along the river is a very convivial pursuit!”

Members have also been clearing debris from Welshmill weir, running regular litter picks and continuing to work with Frome Town Council to improve public access along the river corridor.

Anyone who could help on a weekend, weekday or evening is most welcome. Please email via the contact page on the FoRF website www.fromeriver or contact Dorothy-Anne Bryant on 01373 300583.

Pictured: Volunteers holding the dreaded Himalayan Balsam!