Himalayan balsam plants are now coming into flower making them visible among dense vegetation. Yesterday I went over to the Dyrock (the tributary we believe to be the source of balsam on the Water of Girvan). It appears to be present in low density from Kirkmichael downstream with one large stand at a timber blockage. This stand is too large to pull by hand and will require another visit with a brushcutter or chemical application.

Just downstream of the small stand is a very large stand of balsam that would take too long to pull by hand. I suspect that the log jam creates a back eddy here where seeds get deposited when they’ve been washed downstream. This area of the Dyrock has probably not seen any control since 2013…it doesn’t take long for these plants to take hold.

Please see the attached link for a detailed identification guide…

Should anyone come across these plants will out fishing or walking please take a few minutes to uproot these plants (leave the plants hanging in a tree or fence to desiccate the roots). If everyone across the catchments is to spend a few minutes every time there out on the river the problem will become much more manageable.

Before: A small stand of Himalayan balsam


After: 10 minutes was all it took to remove this small stand.


All the plants pulled were left to desiccate on top of this fallen tree.

The Doon, Stinchar, Girvan, Irvine, Garnock all have balsam present within the catchments. There are also plants present on the Lugar Water in the Ayr catchment. Be vigilant and when you can, remove those plants that you come across.

If anyone would like to volunteer some time with the Trust to control these plants please get in touch, the more people who are involved the greater the impact we can have.