It’s Invasive Species Week (#InvasivesWeek)! As part of this the ACCP want to provide you with the relevant knowledge about invasive species and best biosecurity practice to help reduce the spread of these damaging species.
What is an invasive species?
An invasive species is a non-native species which have often been spread directly or indirectly by human activity. Many of the invasive species that have been introduced cause detrimental harm to our native wildlife, as well as bear large economic and environmental costs. Rivers provide a significant pathway for the spread of invasive species.
Below are some invasive species that can be found in and alongside our rivers:
• Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
• Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
• Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)
• Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)
• Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
What is biosecurity and why is it important?
Biosecurity reduces the risk of introducing or spreading invasive species and pathogens. One of the problems with managing invasive species is that they spread far and wide, quickly. We can all do our part to stop the spread through carrying out good biosecurity practise, particularly when we’re carrying out high-risk activities such as; moving between farms, going in and out of watercourses with invasive species present, etc. The GB Non-Native Species Secretariat (GB NNSS), who lead Invasive Species Week, run a campaign called ‘Check Clean Dry’, which provides a simple message that can have a big impact.
What can you do?
Check – your equipment and clothing for live organisms and debris – particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect
Clean – and wash all equipment, footwear and clothing thoroughly. If you do come across any organisms, leave them at the site where you found them.
Dry – all equipment and clothing – some species can live for many days in moist conditions. Make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere.
Below are suggested items for assembling a biosecurity kit, which you can keep in your vehicle to clean off your footwear and equipment before leaving site.
The kit includes:
• Bucket/ washing-up bowl
• Scrubbing brush
• Large water bottle or jerrican
• Black bags to hold damp kit in the car
• Paper towels
• Hand sanitiser
• Changing mat/rubber mat from footwell
Invasive Species Week
The fourth Invasive Species Week will run 23 – 29 March 2018. Each day will have a different theme:
• Friday 23rd – Launch and introduction to invasive non-native species
• Monday 26th – ornamental plants (Be Plant Wise http://www.nonnativespecies.org/beplantwise)
• Tuesday 27th – hitchhikers (Check Clean Dry http://www.nonnativespecies.org/checkcleandry)
• Wednesday 28th – exotic pets (Pet Code of Practice http://www.nonnativespecies.org/index.cfm?pageid=534)
• Thursday 29th – #GetINNSvolved – promoting volunteering and recording
As part of Invasive Species Week, the Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum (YISF) are hosting a workshop to map future activity across the whole of Yorkshire. Representatives from catchment partnerships across Yorkshire will also be discussing how their work can contribute to providing a strategic overview to invasive species management. The event will be held on Friday 23rd March check out @AireCalder for more information.
Visit the GB NNSS website (which also has a host of great resources including invasive species factsheets – http://www.nonnativespecies.org/home/index.cfm)
For more information about what’s going on in Yorkshire:
Contact the forum directly – Invasives@ywt.org.uk
Or if you want to get involved in surveying invasive species in Yorkshire, please visit: http://ywt-data.org/inns-mapper/content/get-involved