I WANT to continue the dialogue about White Moss (Letters, September 26, 'Dorothy loved White Moss'), although not about the land sale.

Jessica Sneddon emphasises how this area was appreciated by Dorothy Wordsworth, quoting from her Grasmere Journal.

Ms Sneddon comments on its ecological value (in Dorothy’s time and now) and the need for it to be protected. I wholly endorse this view.

But this ecological value is under a serious threat from Himalayan balsam. This invasive non-native species thrives in wet areas such as the wet woodland found at White Moss. And thriving is what it is doing, big time.

The entire area - around the car parks (both above and below the A591), both banks of the River Rothay, in among the woodland, White Moss House (once owned by William Wordsworth) and the adjoining field - is infested with the stuff.

Left untouched, it will continue to spread. This summer, volunteers and staff from South Cumbria Rivers Trust and Friends of the Lake District, working with the land and property owners (including LDNPA) and other partners, started the long process of trying to bring the balsam under control.

There were "Fight the Aliens" bashes in July and August but the scale of the infestation, coupled with a warm wet autumn (the balsam has continued to grow much later than normal), means we have barely made a dent in it.

If the diversity and value of this celebrated area of the central Lake District is to be protected, we will need to up our game.

For next year, we will need cash to buy in contractors to strim, and helping hands to pull the balsam which is beyond reach of the strimmers. Anyone willing to help with pulling should contact SCRT/FOLD (call 01539-530047 and 01539 720788 respectively) or you can donate by clicking on the ‘donate’ button on their websites (scrt.co.uk or www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk) quoting ‘Balsam’ as a reference. Thanks.

Ken Taylor

Volunteer for South Cumbria Rivers Trust and Friends of the Lake District