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Tees Rivers Trust Invasive Species Initiative –  Update and plans for INNS 2017

Tees Rivers Trust Invasive Species Initiative –  Update and plans for INNS 2017

During 2016 Tees Rivers Trust undertook a significant body of work in relation to Invasive species. This work will continue throughout 2017.

With the help of trained volunteers, we have tackled 54Km of giant hogweed (108Km of riverbanks), on the Tees, Leven and Skerne.  Planned work for 2017 will see a further 28Km of river added to this.

Horizon scanning for Chinese mitten crabs is on-going with PD Ports taking a lead role in this work. They have 45 members of staff working on the estuary and all have been trained to monitor for signs of the invasive crab. We also have volunteers monitoring the mouth of the estuary.

We are continuing our work with the international research group CABI, in field trials of biological control of Japanese knotweed and in 2017 we will continue this work as well as trialling a new biological ‘Rust’ spray for controlling Himalayan balsam.

Yorkshire Dales Biosecurity and INNS Steering Group

The Yorkshire Dales Biosecurity and INNS Steering Group was formed in February 2015 to develop a strategic and coordinated approach to biosecurity and the management of invasive non-native species (INNS) in the Yorkshire Dales focusing on aquatic and riparian INNS which threaten river catchments in the Yorkshire Dales. To this end, the group has developed a draft new Yorkshire Biosecurity and INNS strategy with three strategic aims:

1: Reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of INNS to/within Yorkshire;
2: Early detection of, and rapid response to, new incidences of INNS within the Yorkshire Dales;
3: Long term control, or eradication where feasible, of identified priority INNS.

Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are major drivers of environmental change and threaten ecosystem services, with increasing economic costs (~£1.7bn pa to GB). Aquatic ecosystems are disproportionately affected by INNS which may be spread through a range of transmission pathways including trade, transport and recreation. For example, zebra mussels block water pipes; floating pennywort disrupts navigation and can lead to flooding. Once INNS become established it is often impractical and expensive to manage them. Our most effective response is robust biosecurity to prevent their introduction and spread. Management of pathways for introduction is a core requirement of the recent EU legislation on Invasive Alien Species (EU
2015) and the GB Invasive Non Native Species strategy (GB NNSS 2015).

In 2011, DEFRA launched the “Check Clean Dry” campaign, to encourage people to check, clean and dry equipment to kill potential “hitchhiking” INNS and minimise their spread. In collaboration with CEFAS and the GB NNSS, the University of Leeds have developed an e-Learning resource on biosecurity for researchers.
The resource compliments e-learning for managers hosted by the NNSS. This resource is aimed in the first instance at academics and field researchers working in the field whose activities may incur a risk of INNS spread.

Individuals and groups/organisations as follows:
Environment Agency
Forestry Commission
National Trust
Natural England
Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Ribble Rivers Trust
University of Leeds
Yorkshire Dales Environment Network
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust
Yorkshire Water
Yorkshire Wildlife Trust