THE Isle of Wight's plant positive project is seeking volunteers to help tackle the spread of Himalayan Balsam.

The team will return to the easterly part of the Island this year, and is seeking volunteers to help pull out the plant — an invasive species plaguing Island rivers.

Project manager Carol Flux said: “We would love new volunteers to join the balsam team and come ‘on the pull’ with us.

"It’s an easy job, lots of fun and a great excuse to work outside in some of our loveliest river-side spots."

Since 2013, volunteers have made great progress bringing the infestation under control on much of the lower Eastern Yar and Wroxall stream, where native vegetation has begun to reclaim territory.

The team tackle a new area each year, and revisit previous sites to eliminate any balsam that has returned.

As well as impacting on our native flora and threatening our river habitats, the balsam dies back in winter, leaving riverbanks bare and vulnerable to erosion and increased flooding.

It is thought the resultant loss of plant diversity and bank erosion has also contributed to the decline of one of the UK's rarest mammals, the water vole.

Anyone interested in volunteering can call Carol on 201563 or email

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