Nature lovers are being asked to help get rid of an invasive plant swamping a nature reserve.

Doffcocker Lodge is becoming overrun with Himalayan Balsam, an invasive plant species which can prevent anything else from growing and grows rapidly to take over an area.

Mary Hesketh, 62 from Heaton, often walks in the area and takes care of Moss Bank Park as part of a group, is calling on people to help pull out the plant.

She said: I walk around Doffcocker Lodge regularly with my dog and I even volunteer at Moss Bank Park.

The Bolton News: Himalayan Balsam

“Last time we went for a walk we saw that it is massive and covers a large area, and it is such a beautiful place.”

Many people have come forward to help after Mary’s call and a group will now meet on Saturday at noon at the lodge.

 Mary is encouraging everyone to go along to, but if they cannot, they can pull out the weeds on any other day.

The Himalayan Balsam plant spreads through rivers and also as the flowers can ‘explode’ with 800 seeds at a time.

Mary said: “I also spoke to someone at Bolton Council who was interested, and we will show people what to do.

“I noticed it for the past few years and the path has become un-walkable, and this is the time to pull them it as they will explode by August.

“So, this is why we are really keen with getting people on board to do this.”

The Bolton News: Himalayan Balsam

Mary understands that Bolton Council do not have the funds to carry out the work to prevent them, but the plant can be stopped during this time.

READ MORE: Westhoughton: Town councillor removes invasive Himalayan Balsam

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READ MORE: Invasive plant Himalayan balsam spotted in Leverhulme Park

She said: “The plant is in its infancy so hopefully we can stop it.

“It stops other indigenous plants from growing and you cannot walk on the path when it covers it.

“Since Covid, a lot more people appreciate the outdoor environment, and it is good for the community to get out.

“Nobody wants to use pesticides as we want to care about the environment you live in.”