WOODHALL ESTATE

HERTFORDSHIRE

Himalayan Balsam
The River Beane flows through the centre of the Woodhall Estate adding to the wide range of wildlife areas.  Over the last two years we have started a programme of removing, coppicing and pollarding trees adjacent to the river.  The areas cleared have increased water flow and enabled much needed sunlight to get through, which has very quickly washed the gravel as a natural means of cleaning up the river bed.

This year we have started to progress the clearance of the invasive Himalayan Balsam which shades out the other plant species on the riverbank. The aim is to try to prevent the plants spreading their seeds which will germinate the following year.  We started with some early mowing and brushcutter work to clear the larger areas and we hope to follow this up by pulling the plants before they spread their seeds. This is a big operation which will take a few seasons to complete successfully but we have managed to control the giant hogweed on the Estate to a minimal level after four years of continual management so we are optimistic that we can do the same with Himalayan Balsam to enable the more indigenous plants to thrive.