PRESS RELEASE: Root Out Himalayan Balsam This Summer - IWA Calls for Public’s Help to Stop the Invader

Issue date: 27th March 2015

The Inland Waterways Association’s (IWA) annual summer Himalayan Balsam Campaign begins with an Awareness Week from 16-24 May, ahead of its main growing season, when the public will be asked for help to root out the invasive plant.

During Himalayan Balsam Awareness Week, IWA will spread the message about the damage this deceptively pretty but destructive plant can cause to river and canal banks, biodiversity and waterway habitats. Through social media and the Association’s website, IWA will share identification tips, interesting facts and information on how people can help by joining a Himalayan Balsam pull on their local waterway.

Education plays a key role in reducing the prevalence of Himalayan Balsam and IWA’s resources, which will be publicised throughout the week, are an interesting and helpful way for the public to learn more about the plant, how to report a sighting and how to get involved with removing it. IWA volunteers gave over 900 hours to the campaign last year and cleared over ten miles of waterway from the plant. IWA branches are already busy planning pulls so keep an eye on IWA’s website for more information about these events that will run mainly between late May and the end of July.

To learn more about the invasive plant make sure you follow IWA on Facebook (facebook.com/inlandwaterwaysassociation) and Twitter (@IWA_UK) and keep an eye out for the #RootOut2015 hashtag during Himalayan Balsam Awareness Week.

ENDS

For further media requests please contact Stefanie Preston, IWA Branch Campaign Assistant, at stefanie.preston@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783 453 ext.610

For further images of Himalayan Balsam and volunteer Himalayan Balsam pulls, contact Stefanie Preston at stefanie.preston@waterways.org.uk or on 01494 783 453 ext.610.

Notes for Editors

About The Inland Waterways Association:The Inland Waterways Association (IWA), a registered charity, leads campaigns to conserve, maintain and restore Britain’s network of canal and river waterways. With a membership of around 16,000, IWA provides a strong voice for waterways users, working with navigation authorities, local and national government and other organisations to keep all our waterways alive. www.waterways.org.uk

Himalayan Balsam
Find out more about Himalayan Balsam at www.waterways.org.uk/invasivespecies.