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Balsam Season is Well and Truly Upon Us

It’s that time of year again and I’ve taken the volunteers out pulling balsam. Balsam is an invasive weed that can take over large areas of British plant communities and destroy the animals that depend on them. This week we were at Deep Hays Country Park pulling it along the brook. It can be a bit of an unpleasant job with the boggy ground and eye-level nettles, but as always the volunteers applied their usual high spirits and cracked on with enthusiasm.
We did however have the reward of a few interesting bits of wildlife – we heard willow tits quite clearly, alongside numerous other birds and in amongst the tall herbs and reeds we found a massive range of insects, none of which I have the skill to identify but still exciting.
It was great to keep on top of what is quite an extensive problem in Churnet in what can only be described as a gorgeous location.