This afternoon Muir and I were on the Muck Water with volunteers from Drumgrange and Keirs Angling Club to deal with what we hope is the last stand of Himalayan balsam on the watercourse. The saying “many hands make light work” is never more true than when pulling balsam.

Balsam hanging from tree, air drying the roots kills the plant leaving no potential for regrowth.

We cannot emphasis how important it is to get control of invasive plant species such as balsam. Once they get out of control in a catchment they very difficult to get back under control. Fortunately we have caught the balsam in this area early when it is controllable. We have now walked, waded and fought through the Muck Water to get all the plants we can. Total eradication is possible but is very difficult to achieve, relentless consistency is key and if you find balsam plants pull the root from the ground and leave the plant to die over a branch or fence etc.

A handful of volunteers makes a huge difference. Without their help Muir and I reckoned it would have taken us 4 or 5 hours to do this by ourselves.


With a ourselves and a group of 4 volunteers we dealt with a large, well spread stand in an hour. Good banter and a willing team make a usually unenjoyable job a far more fun task. Vigilance over the next few weeks will be key. Undoubtedly some plants will have seeded on the main stem Doon and these should be removed as quickly as possible.

A big thanks to the guys from Drumgrange and Keirs Angling Club for joining us on a miserable wet afternoon.