Guidance for field workers

Invasive aquatic plants and animals harm the environment and block waterways. They can be small and hard to spot so are easily spread on damp equipment and clothing. Once established they become extremely difficult and expensive to eradicate, which is why it is so important to prevent their spread in the first place.

When you’re working or volunteering in the field, it’s important to keep your kit free of invasive plants and animals in order to protect the environment.

Basic biosecurity advice for anyone working in the field
        • Plan visits so that the most risky visit is the last one of the day.
        • Arrive at the site with clean footwear and vehicle.
        • Ensure footwear is clean (visually from soil and debris) before leaving the site.
        • Ensure your vehicle is kept clean – in particular remove any accumulated mud before leaving the site.
        • Make use of facilities provided on the site to clean footwear/equipment.
        • Keep access to a minimum. If practical do not take vehicles onto premises, keep to established tracks and park vehicles on hard standing.
        • Where possible avoid areas of livestock and areas with known plant disease.
        • Check whether your organisation has any other guidance.

Whenever you leave the water, remember to Check Clean Dry
Check your gear after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site.

Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to nets, waders, and areas that are damp and hard to access. Use hot water if possible.

Dry everything for as long as possible before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for two weeks in damp conditions.

Going abroad?

It’s even more important to Check Clean Dry if you’re taking your kit abroad to make sure you don’t bring any plants or animals back with you. Make sure everything is clean and has been dried thoroughly before you use it again at home. Boarder Biosecurity posters.


Hard copies of posters and leaflets may be available, please contact us for further information.

Inland Fisheries Ireland – Biosecurity Protocol for Field Survey Work

Poster or signs

Check Clean Dry

Events, clubs and managers of waterbodies

Pocket ID guide


Field guide



See all Check Clean Dry resources
Invasive Species Northern Ireland

Invasive Species Northern Ireland