Article - The River Blog

Can you help us by growing native flowers?

Author: Jeanette Dyson
Categories: Volunteers, Wildflower growing

Invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, American skunk cabbage and montbretia crowd out native plants. This reduces biodiversity, damages natural habitats and harms native wildlife.

This year, we’ve already treated miles of riverbanks within the River Holme catchment, by pulling American skunk cabbage and bashing Himalayan balsam. Now, Simon and his pesticide-trained volunteers are treating Japanese knotweed along the banks.

Increasing biodiversity with 3,000 native wildflowers

Removing invasive species is only part of the story. We need to replant the bare riverbanks with native flowers, ideally grown from seed collected from around the catchment. This year, thanks to funding from Cummins Turbo Technologies, and help from our amazing volunteers who grew hundreds of seedlings, we’ve planted around 3,000 native plants around the catchment.

Thank you to all our volunteers who took part in this year’s wildflower growing project. You really have made a difference

In the space of six months, Meltham Pleasure Grounds has been transformed

Can you help us to do more?

Next year we’re continuing our campaign to remove invasive species along the River Holme catchment and improve biodiversity by replanting the riverbanks with native wildflowers.

To do this we need your help.

We have funding from Yorkshire Water and Central England Co-op to fund our wildflower growing project, but we need volunteers to help.

If you love gardening and can help us to grow wildflowers from seeds – even growing a dozen plants helps – please get in touch.

We’ve a wide variety of seeds that we need to grow over the winter months, including wood avens, bluebell, woodrush, red campion, common knapweed and pendulous sedge.

We’ll provide the seed, peat-free compost and plant pots. If you’d like to get involved, please contact Simon Hirst, our River Steward, by email:

4 comments on this post

  1. I would be happy to grow some seeds for planting next year. Let me know when and where to collect the pack . Thank you. Regards, Pip

    1. Thanks, Pip. That’s fantastic. I’ll speak to our River Steward, Simon Hirst ( and let you know when and where the packs can be collected from.
      Thanks again. Jeanette

  2. Hi
    Happy to help with growing from seed. We’ll have greenhouse space once the tomatoes are finished, always a windowsill or two. Let me know how to get involved? Thanks

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