Invasive Species Week 2019, between Monday 13th and Friday 17th May, is a joint initiative led by the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat. Working in partnership with South West Water, we delivered a series of events and activities at various lakes to raise awareness of the impacts of invasive species and how visitors to the lakes can help prevent their introduction and spread.

Nicola Morris, Invasive Species Officer at South West Lakes Trust, attended Stithians Open Day on 12th May, with an invasive species and biosecurity information stand, handing out leaflets to visitors on the most problematic invasive non-native species we are most concerned about. A particular focus was placed on the Check, Clean, Dry campaign and stickers were handed to anglers. Children also engaged with the subject, enjoying matching invasive species pairs and playing a fishing game.

South West Lakes Trust, South West Water and CINNG (Community Invasive Non-Native (Species) Group) hosted the South West Invasive Species Forum at Roadford Lake on Monday 13th May. The event attracted Forum Members from across the South West to come together and share their knowledge and experiences in invasive species management. Key note speakers from both local and national organisations provided interesting talks on the Regional Invasive Species Management Plan and biosecurity, and highlighted the species we should be most concerned about regionally.

Talks were also given on invasive animals such as Asian hornets, signal crayfish and the freshwater zebra mussel. Updates on regional projects provided the opportunity to hear about a number of projects from across the south west, including the Tamar Valley Giant Hogweed Project, a successful 10-year project working to control Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) along a 95.6km stretch of the tidal and non-tidal River Tamar corridor. 

On Sunday 19th May, young families from the Burrator Wildlife Watch group enjoyed an INNS family activity session. They played invasive species games, went on an alien detective nature trail, and heard a talk on how we can all help to prevent the spread of invasive non-native species. Children created their own invasive species, and took card packs home to continue learning about the impacts of invasive non-native species.

Nicola Morris said:

“Invasive Species Week is a great way to raise awareness of the impacts of invasive non-native species and what we can all do to help prevent their introduction and spread. We are delighted with the success of the South West Invasive Species Forum. It is great to be getting such positive feedback from our Forum members on how we can move forward to manage invasive species effectively at a regional level. The family activities have been fantastic and it’s great to work with people of all ages. Our event at Burrator attracted one family of three generations and everyone was really interested to find out how they can help. Our alien nature trail was particularly popular.”

For more information, please call 01566 771930 or email [email protected]

All records of invasive non-native species at South West Lakes Trust sites should be sent to Nicola at [email protected]