The Wilden Marsh Blog

Archives

It’s that time of the year again when grass growth quickens as the growing season gets underway. Tiny double leaved sprouts of the dreaded Himalayan balsam plant are now pushing above ground. Initially introduced to the UK in 1839, Himalayan balsam quickly outgrows competition and is widely known as Bizzie Lizzie, Indian Balsam and Policeman’s Helmet. It is the tallest annual plant found in the British Isles and grows to more than 2-3 metres in height. Each… Read More

I managed to get the herd back into Hoo Brook Pasture yesterday, without having to call in the Rangers to help out, following the teenager incident on Tuesday night; it took me three days to do it though. When the cattle slipped out of the corral for their early morning drink in Hoo Brook Corridor, I slipped in and closed the gate on them – as simple as that! I tried many… Read More

Himalayan Balsam is poking its leaves above ground now; the marsh cattle will soon be feasting on this very prolific and invasive plant. In the UK, the Himalayan Balsam plant was first introduced in 1839 at the same time as Giant Hogweed and Japanese Knotweed. These plants were all promoted at the time as having the virtues of “herculean proportions” and “splendid invasiveness” which meant that ordinary people could buy them for the cost of a packet of… Read More

Sunrise: 05.10 Sunset: 09.20

Sunrise: 05.00 Sunset: 09.28 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… Read More