BASH the Balsam - the impatient invader

It may look pretty, but Himalayan balsam is an alien invader!

This invasive, non-native plant was brought to the UK in the nineteenth century, but, transplanted from its native home in the Himalaya, without other native plants to keep it in check, it has literally spread like wildlife!

This is bad news for Eden’s rivers as Himalayan balsam outcompetes our native plants, threatening their survival and destabilises riverbanks when it dies back in winter. We have made it our mission to stamp out this alien invader with our annual Big Balsam Bash month in July that everyone can get involved with, plus lots of other volunteer balsam bashing events throughout the Eden catchment.

Front cover of Bash the Balsam book

To help children understand more about this plant and the threat it poses to our rivers and native species, we’ve created BASH the Balsam – the impatient invader, an illustrated storybook with a poem, information about the plant and a game!

The book is available as an online flipbook and a video (see below). You can also download a PDF of the game.

We have printed copies of the book for schools to use – if your school would like some, please get in touch with us at




Eden Rivers Kingfisher Icon

Read BASH the Balsam book online

St. Bede's Catholic Primary School BASH the Balsam!

The Adventurous Salmon game

page showing a children's game

Can you help the Adventurous Salmon get from the sea back to the tiny becks that are their spawning grounds?

Download the game, grab your dice and counters and find out!

Supported by a Water Environment Grant from

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