Community unites against invasive species at Antrim Lough Shore
The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rosie Kinnear is joined by volunteers at the Balsam Bashing event at Antrim Lough Shore Park.
Following the launch of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s five-year Local Biodiversity Action Plan, the Council recently teamed up with Lough Neagh Partnership and The Conservation Volunteers, in an attempt to eradicate Himalayan Balsam on its land at Antrim Lough Shore Park.
Despite its soothing name, Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native plant, which once established can spread rapidly. With each plant able to produce around 800 seeds, it doesn’t take long for this plant to dominate certain areas.
The Council has already put various measures in place to help control it along the shoreline, but since balsam seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years, ongoing removal is critical.
The main method for eradication is pulling the plants before they flower and set seed.
A total of 11 volunteers recently joined Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Rosie Kinnear for some hands-on conservation work at the Park.
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Rosie Kinnear said:
"It was fantastic to see so many volunteers give up their time to help tackle the issue of Himalayan Balsam. I am looking forward to returning next year to hopefully see a lot less of these invasive plants return to the site, meaning our efforts were not in vain, and that more of our native plants have a chance to flourish instead."
For more details on the actions that the Council is taking towards protecting biodiversity across the Borough visit: