A Westhoughton town councillor has volunteered her time this week to clear a park of an invasive species.

Gillian Wroe volunteered her time to clear Hall Lee Bank Park of the invasive species known as Himalayan Balsam.

Himalayan balsam competes heavily with native species and alters the behaviour and composition of pollinating insects.

Additionally, this species can alter water flow at high densities which increases the risk of erosion and flooding.

Cllr Wroe who represents Daisy Hill ward on Westhoughton Town Council, pulled up a large amount of the balsam.

She plans to return when it has rotted down in order to take it out of the park completely.

The Bolton News: Himalayan BalsamHimalayan Balsam (Image: NQ)

People all over the UK are volunteering to clear their communities of the species.

Gillian said: “Hall Lee Bank Park is one of Westhoughton’s most beautiful locations, so I came down to the park to remove some of the balsam.

“Lots of people all over the country and in Bolton are removing some of this stuff.

“It’s quite easy to pull up, and once it’s gone, hopefully it won’t return in such a massive amount that you can see here.

“It’s quite easy to pull up. Just one tug and I got quite a lot and one handful.

“The ground is more or less clear of the balsam now, which just leaves our native plants to take over again.

“I’m going to let the piles of balsam rot down a bit, and I’ll come back and see what I can remove right out of the park.”

The Bolton News: Councillors Linda Maher (left) and Alison Jackson (centre) in Central ParkCouncillors Linda Maher (left) and Alison Jackson (centre) in Central Park (Image: Gillian Wroe)

In the same week, town councillors Alison Jackson and Linda Maher volunteered to collect litter and broken glass from Westhoughton’s Central Park.

The councillors even found an abandoned Aldi shopping trolley which they returned to the supermarket on Bolton Road.

This is not the first time that groups in Bolton have come together to tackle the invasive species.

Back in June, the Bolton News reported that a group of volunteers will be working to clear a destructive species of Himalayan Balsam thanks to a grant of £7,000.

Volunteers will remove the plant from the River Irwell.

The volunteers include John Frazer from the Bradshaw Brook Fly Fishing group, who said he noticed the invasive species around Bolton while fishing.

John and the rest of the volunteers started the project last autumn and have now been given a grant by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to eradicate the plant both in Bradshaw and to other areas.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @chloewjourno.