Projects in Calderdale
An exciting new initiative is taking place in Calderdale to tackle invasive species.
Led by Calderdale Council, an experimental trial with CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International) is underway at a site near Todmorden. The trial involves a natural control method which hopes to reduce the impacts of Himalayan balsam.
In 2006, CABI began studying different types of natural control methods which exist in balsam’s native range of the Himalayas. A rust fungus was observed and selected as the test subject in an experimental trial and, in 2010, a specific species of rust fungus was exported to a quarantine facility for in-depth safety testing.
Since 2015, this rust has been introduced to 47 sites throughout England and Wales. The site in Todmorden has been remarkably successful, showing the second most promising results of the test sites. Further studies and possible release of the rust will take place at this site; however, it is hoped that the rust is now established on site and will spread from the site using airborne transmission.
This will hopefully help reduce the spread of Himalayan balsam without spending lots of time and effort pulling up individual plants.