Himalayan balsam control: The cattle are soldiering on.

Sunrise: 05.00 Sunset: 09.28

IMG_3875

Shetland Cow Eating Himalayan Balsam at Wilden Marsh.

The cattle are doing a great job, but they are not clearing the Himalayan balsam in Hoo Brook Pasture as quickly as expected. I think the problem is the high rate of balsam growth –  now 12 to 15 feet tall with 3″to 4″ diametre stalks, in places. Also, new balsam shoots are growing vigorously from the bare earth shaded by the earlier balsam growth. So the cattle are pulling down and eating huge swathes of  this fast growing green menace, whilst grazing the new growth. I think the cattle might also be wandering about in the Swamp – the pasture gate is left open to allow them access to the Swamp for drinking water.

The area looks a little like a bomb site with 3 foot tall clumps of leafless part-eaten stalks all over the place.

It’s important that the cattle finish the job before the balsam seeds are fully formed.

8 Comments on “Himalayan balsam control: The cattle are soldiering on.

      • Cows cost money, Alex. Anyway, Hoo Brook Pasture was a wood last year and old balsam seeds are taking advantage of the rain and sunshine we have had recently. I am hoping that the cows will defeat the marsh balsam problem in a few years, or at least greatly reduce it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: