Invasive Species Week 2022


Key themes

  • Monday 16th May – introduction to the week and invasive species impacts on the terrestrial environment (countryside)
  • Tuesday 17th May – impacts on the freshwater environment
  • Wednesday 18th May – impacts on the marine environment
  • Thursday 19th May – impacts on people and the urban environment
  • Friday 20th May – biosecurity: what does this mean, and what can people and organisations
    do to improve their biosecurity?
  • Saturday and Sunday 21st and 22nd May – events and activities to take part in

 


Background

In 2015, the GB Non-native Species Secretariat (NNSS) and Defra held a week of awareness raising on social media around invasive non-native species, Invasive Species Week. Following positive feedback from stakeholders, the NNSS have repeated Invasive Species Week annually with support from a wide range of organisations.

Since 2016 practical action (e.g. events, training, and management) has taken place alongside online awareness raising focused on the Check, Clean, Dry and Be Plant Wise campaigns. In 2018 Invasive Species Week was expanded across England, Guernsey, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

In 2020 Invasive Species Week was cancelled due to covid-19, and in 2021 it included a larger online element than in previous years due to ongoing restrictions.


Objectives

  1. To raise awareness amongst the public and stakeholders of invasive non-native species (INNS) and their impacts in order to:
    • engage a wider audience with the issue
    • increase accurate reporting
    • improve biosecurity
    • reduce the risk of introduction of new INNS and the spread of established INNS.
  2. To promote guidance (e.g. biosecurity, reporting) to key stakeholder groups where relevant.
  3. To increase uptake of volunteering and other relevant activities.

Focus

This year Invasive Species Week will include both online activities and those that can be carried out safely in person (dependent on restrictions), particularly:

  • Involving museums, botanic gardens, wildlife parks and zoos – asking them to share interesting specimens in their collection to help educate the public about invasive non-native species.
  • Holding daily webinars on a range of topics – to highlight the impacts of invasive species.
  • Promoting the five things everyone can do (see below), including:
  1. Check Clean Dry – to reach recreational water users who are not affiliated with a club.
  2. Be Plant Wise – to reach a greater number of gardeners.
  3. Responsible pet ownership – to reach exotic pet owners.
  4. Recording – sharing a new ID leaflet with invasive species to look out for on a walk (which will also include information on how people can help prevent the spread).
  5. Volunteering – publicising volunteering events organised by LAGs as part of ISW and launching the updated projects database where people can search for LAGs.


Five things everyone can do to help

  1. If you go fishing, boating or paddling, remember to Check Clean Dry your boat and any clothing, footwear and equipment after leaving the water.
  2. Be Plant Wise and don’t let your garden, pond, or aquarium plants enter the environment.
  3. Take care of your pets, never release them or allow them to escape into the environment. It’s cruel and could harm other wildlife.
  4. Look out for Asian hornet, a predator of honeybees which is not yet established in GB. Record your sightings of this and other alert species. Read more on Asian hornet and how to report sightings, find free ID sheets for invasive non-native species and download the Asian Hornet Watch app.
  5. If you enjoy being outside why not join a local volunteer group to help manage invasive plants

Event ideas:

  • Give a talk about invasive species and how to prevent their spread. If you’d rather watch a talk stay tuned for details of the GBNNSS webinar series.
  • Create an awareness raising display in your office, classroom, clubhouse etc. Download a poster (PDF) and free awareness raising materials below.
  • If you work or volunteer outdoors, book in a training session on biosecurity, identification or recording for your team. Find free online training here.
  • Arrange a corporate volunteering day for your team – contact a Local Action Group near you to get involved in managing non-native plants.
  • Share Be Plant Wise materials with your family and friends, or even a local garden centre to encourage gardeners to dispose of plants responsibly and avoid them spreading into the wild.
  • Arrange a Check Clean Dry demonstration at your angling / paddling / sailing club to show how easy it is to keep your kit free of invasive species.
  • Put together a trail or hold tours for visitors highlighting all the invasive non-native species in your collection, any native species that are impacted by them, and any stories about how they were introduced and the impacts they could have on the environment.
  • Run a competition or quiz to design an invasive species.
  • Arrange a lunchtime walk with others to look out for common invasive species near you.
  • Create a display with information on invasive species and how everyone can help to prevent their spread
  • Contact local media to raise awareness of invasive non-native species and your work.
  • Enlist any celebrities you know to support Invasive Species Week!

Online activities:

If you aren’t able to do any of the activities above you can still play an important role by raising awareness online! Follow us @InvasNI on Twitter and remember to use #INNSweek in your social media posts. Let your colleagues, visitors, volunteers, classmates know that Invasive Species Week is happening and encourage them to take part:

  • Include articles in your newsletter, website, blog, membership magazine, mailing list. We’ll be adding some key facts here to help you soon. Think about which species are most relevant to you and the audience you’re trying to reach, local or business issues are more likely to get their attention.
  • Share information on social media. During Invasive Species Week follow @InvasNI on Twitter, retweet posts and create additional posts of your own if you can. Remember to use #INNSweek in any posts on social media. Each day we’ll be focusing on a key theme, find details above.
  • If you work or volunteer outdoors, book in a training session on biosecurity, identification or recording for your team. Find free online training here.
  • Live-stream from the field or film a survey to show which non-native species are likely to be seen on a walk.
  • Put together a virtual tour for visitors highlighting all the invasive non-native species in your collection, any native species that are impacted by them, and any stories about how they were introduced and the impacts they could have on the environment.
  • Run a competition or quiz to design an invasive species.
  • Enlist any celebrities you know to support Invasive Species Week

Useful Resources


 

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland