Balsam ‘bashing’ working party – Hazelwood House

Our leaflet about the local environmental problems posed by Himalayan Balsam (see ECOLOGY/INVASIVE WEEDS) has already generated a lot of interest and we are planning our first ‘balsam bashing’ working party .  From the wealth of sites on the Avon requiring attention, we have selected Hazelwood House which has a particularly severe problem and is attractive for other reasons.    

Hazelwood House is very unusual and the grounds (67 acres, much of it alongside the Avon) exceptionally peaceful.  It is situated in a relatively inaccessible but very beautiful part of the valley, on the opposite side of the river to where the old ‘Primrose’ railway line used to run, upstream of Loddiswell.

AA recent photograph of the old boathouse,  with the river beyond.   

Nowadays, the house is run as a commercial retreat and venue for artistic and cultural events but the prevailing philosophy for management of the grounds is not far removed from the ACA’s charitable objective of conserving, protecting and improving the river for the benefit of the public –  simply put, it is to ‘let Nature be’.

 Unfortunately, this philosophy has resulted in a huge influx of Himalayan Balsam over the past few years and in return for a simple lunch, we have agreed to organise a working party to start uprooting this annual alien invader before this year’s seed dispersal begins.  The working party will meet at Hazelwood House at 10.00am on Wednesday 23rd June for a 2-hour weed pulling session, followed by lunch.

 If you and your friends would like to join the working party, it is essential that you let me know by 16th June so that I can explain what is involved and know the number requiring food.   You can contact me at

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