Published date : 30 Jul 2019

Local MSP, Jenny Gilruth, recently joined a group of local volunteers in Markinch, in an endeavour to tackle the growing Himalayan Balsam problem in the area.


The politician joined members of the Markinch Heritage Group and volunteers from the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust for a morning of pulling up the invasive plants.  Lots were to be found on either side of the path by the railway bridge, which forms part of the popular Fife Pilgrim’s Way.


The tall pink-flowered weed has spread rapidly through the area in the past few years up the Back Burn to Markinch and as a result has had negative repercussions on local bio-diversity and native Fife plant species.


Commenting after the morning of balsam bashing, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:

“I am incredibly impressed by the work of both the Markinch Heritage Group and the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust and their commitment to maintaining the Fife area.

“Groups like this that take the initiative to come out into the local area and give back are the bread and butter of community spirit and I was delighted to be able to join them today in their quest to tackle the Himalayan Balsam problem.

“I wish the group the best of luck with their quest, and I know I will always be on the lookout for Balsam now that I have more information on the negative impact it has on local vegetation!”


Deirdre Munro, a countryside ranger for the Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, added:

Himalayan Balsam comes from the Himalayas and was introduce to this country as a beautiful garden plant.  However, this has now colonised areas and out competes with our own natural indigenous plants. 


“The efforts of the volunteer groups are very valuable and helps to manage the bio-diversity of our countryside.”



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