Working in partnership, South West Lakes and South West Water will be delivering a series of free workshops across the South West in November and December, which will include presentations on biosecurity, invasive non-native species and discussions on what we can all do to help prevent their spread.

Open to anyone who uses the lakes for sport or recreation, the workshops will explore some of the key issues of invasive non-native species, and the most current and effective biosecurity methods. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the best options for biosecurity facilities managed by South West Lakes Trust sites, in order to help protect them and the variety of sports that take place there.

Nicola Morris, Invasive Species Officer at South West Lakes Trust, said, ‘As well as providing information to attendees, these workshops will provide us with vital feedback from visitors who use the lakes. The information will help us to manage invasive non-native species and prevent their spread. Our visitors are as passionate about protecting the lakes as we are and it is great to be working alongside them.’

In Britain, invasive species have caused dramatic declines of some native species including those in the South West such as the water vole and white-clawed crayfish. They threaten many key sites and are a particular threat in sensitive areas, such as rivers, lakes and streams and offshore islands. Invasive species can also interfere with recreational activities: for example, invasive aquatic plants block waterways, preventing anglers, boaters and paddlers from using them. South West Lakes Trust and South West Water are taking measures to help protect the lakes; for example, by installing a dip tank for angling equipment at Squabmoor and planning biosecurity wash down facilities at other sites such as Roadford.

The workshops will be as follows:

Wednesday 6th November, 7-9.30pm – Stithians Centre, Stithians, Cornwall

Tuesday 19th November, 6-8.30pm – Roadford Lake, Lifton, Devon

Monday 25th November, 6-8.30pm – Brompton Regis Village Hall, Dulverton, Somerset

Wednesday 27th November, 6-8.30pm – Clearwater Village Hall, Yelverton, Devon

Monday 2nd December, 6-8.30pm – Bridge House Hotel, Ferndown, Dorset

A light supper is provided and booking is essential: please click here to see individual programmes and to book.

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