DORSET Wildlife Trust (DWT) is urging people to pull up a common invasive plant if they see it lining rivers.

Himalayan balsam is an invasive plant that smothers and destroys native plants such as purple loosestrife and meadowsweet.

Himalayan balsam grows very quickly and is renowned for its pink trumpet-shaped flowers and hollow green stems. It can be found along river banks and in other wetland areas.

DWT trainee conservation officer, Ali Quinney said: “Himalayan balsam is causing havoc along many Dorset rivers, and is a contributing factor to the erosion of our river banks, as well as destroying habitats for creatures such as the water vole.

“When it flowers, its seeds literally explode, making stopping its spread a very challenging task. It has very shallow roots, which make it extremely easy to remove - just hold it firmly at the base and gently pull, making sure all the roots are out of the ground, and then dispose of it by burning or composting.”

For details email or call 01305 264620.