I found the dreaded Himalayan Balsam out side the field gate.
I almost convinced myself that it's not that important, it is after all a great source of nectar for honey bees and they need all the help they can get. Thinking about it that's quite a short sighted view. It is a pest, an aggressive weed that spreads rapidly and smothers all other vegetation. The bees are enjoying it now but i think they really appreciate a bit of biodiversity.
Himalayan balsam is a tall growing annual plant, about 2-3m tall. Clusters of purplish pink flowers are produced between June and October and are followed by explosive seed pods. Seed pods can shoot seeds up to 7m away.
The BTCV regularly organise 'Balsam bashing' jobs, clearing waterways and other important areas. Destroying the plants before they set seed is a very effective way of control. I chose the 'pull them up' method, as the plants work their way down the lane I can see me doing this more often in the future.
If you want any more info on the Balsam the RHS has a good advice sheet rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile