VOLUNTEERS have been out ‘Balsam bashing’ in the Washburn Valley.

Members of Yorkshire Water’s environmental team gave up their own time to tackle invasive, non-native species at Lindley Wood Reservoir.

Their focus was on removing Himalayan balsam - an annual species that can grown up to three metres heigh and sports purplish-pink, slipper shaped flowers between June and late September.

The plant thrives in damp habitats and spreads fast so it can quickly crowd out native species.

It can be removed by hand by breaking the stem to prevent regrowth and seed production, which is best done before it starts to produce seeds

Lead ecologist for invasive species at Yorkshire Water, Rachel Naden, said: “We need to work together to tackle Himalayan Balsam.

“We would encourage the public to be aware of it and the damage it can cause, but also to act.”