The spread of invasive non-native species has increased as transport throughout the world has increased. The movement of both people and goods is a crucial part of modern life and is necessary for our economy. But it does mean we need to establish ways to limit the accidental movement of species. Locally, there are a few things that we can be doing to limit the spread of invasive non-native species throughout London and Great Britain.
As part of the invasive non-native species industry, or indeed as people who like to be outdoors, we may accidentally spread invasive non-native species.
Because of this we need to look at what we do that might spread species and identify how we can limit this. The best way to slow the spread is by carrying out effective biosecurity. This should be done in line with the Check, Clean, Dry method.
- Check your equipment and clothing for live organisms – particularly in areas that are damp or hard to inspect.
- Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothing thoroughly. Research has found that washing with warm water can increase the effectiveness of this step.
- Dry all equipment and clothing – some species can live for many days in moist conditions. And make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere.
This kind of simple biosecurity action is easy to include into your normal daily activities and is the responsibility of everyone who works in or enjoys the natural environment.
There are a range of things you can do to help build better biosecurity into your activities in addition to the Check, Clean, Dry method.
Look at what risks exist in regards to moving and/or transporting potentially invasive species. For example, do you work in areas with invasive species? Are you moving tools/people to many sites throughout the week? Are you working on or near any sites with important wildlife/nature or transport sites?
- Consider in what ways you can limit accidental transport of invasive non-native species. How can you include biosecurity into your daily activities? For example, a standard wash-down procedure (check, clean, dry) for tools and equipment after working on sites with known invasive non-native species.
- Highlight areas where you are able to make an instant change within your work to limit spread of invasive species. For example, only buy mulch from approved clean suppliers and know what species you are planting (Be Plant Wise).
- Pre-plan the order you will visit sites, for example visit those with invasive species last to stop the spread onto other sites.
- Create a biosecurity plan which formally sets up those things mentioned above for your organisation.
- Train staff in biosecurity measures and to identify those species which they may encounter during their work and how to properly carry out the check, clean, dry method.
- Link your programmes to existing national campaigns including Stop the Spread and Check Clean, Dry.