Alien plants in the Lake District

Himalayan Balsam, Rhododendron and Japanese Knotweed – they’re familiar sights, but actually, in the wrong place, they’re becoming a real problem across the Lake District. These are just some of the non-native plants here, or 'alien invasions' as we call them. In 2016, our Rangers and volunteers spent over 300 days tackling them - that’s nearly a year! We do this so indigenous plants survive, and that animals aren’t affected by these alien invaders either. They appear on land and in water – here’s 4 of the species to watch out for when you’re in the Lake District.

A Ranger pulling Himalayan Balsam in the Lake District

Himalayan Balsam – it’s an alien plant invasion 

Himalayan Balsam is an invasive non-native plant so robust and vigorous that’s it’s become a real problem in the Lake District, smothering and pushing out other indigenous plants in vast swathes along riverbanks and lakeshores. Find out what we’re doing about it.

woman in wetsuit walking into Derwent Water

New Zealand Pigmyweed – the scourge of Derwent Water

Derwent Water's wildlife is threatened by a tiny green menace.

Volunteers help clear invasive rhododendron in the south Lakes, Cumbria

Tackling invasive rhododendron in the south Lakes

Our rangers have a huge job on their hands tackling invasive rhododendron plants across the south Lakes.

Views of Wastwater and Nether Wasdale

Mapping out a response to the Wasdale invaders 

The Wasdale team is using the National Trust's Geographical Information System to tackle the battle against invasive species in the valley.

Rosa rugosa main stand

Rosa Rugosa an invasive species found at Sandscale Haws

Sandscale Haws is a beautiful dune habitat, nurturing many rare native species of flora and fauna, but lurking in the dunes is one rose (Rosa rugosa) that isn't so welcome!