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Stop the Spread

The spread of invasive species is becoming a growing issue in British waters. They compete with native plants and wildlife and can cause major changes to our waterways. By helping to Stop the Spread, we can protect the natural habitat of our waterways.

What are invasive species?

Non-native species are plants and animals that originate from other countries and become established outside their normal habitat. Some are harmless but others, known as invasive, can damage the environment. As well as preying on, out-competing and displacing native wildlife, they can spread disease and block waterways.

They’re bad news for all waterway users.

For canoeists and kayakers, this can impede upon navigation on affected waters and therefore restrict our activities. Invasive plants such as Floating Pennywort can clog waterways, adding significantly to the management costs of our waterways.

Beware contributing to the problem.

As a water user, you could unknowingly spread invasive plants and animals from one water body to another. Animals, eggs, larvae and plant fragments are easily transported in or on equipment, shoes, clothing and other damp places and can survive for a long time. New Environment Agency research shows that a killer shrimp can survive in the moist fold of a wader for up to 15 days.

Check, Clean, Dry.

Help stop the spread by following three simple steps: check, clean and dry equipment when you leave the water. All you have to do is follow the simple steps in our Check, Clean, Dry download.

Get involved.

Many organisations run events to help remove invasive species from our waterways. Find more details about how you can get involved in these on our environmental volunteering page.