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Competitors Check Clean and Dry at European Canoe Polo Championships

Over 30 teams participating in last weekend’s European Canoe Polo Championships were actively involved in an initiative to stop the spread of invasive non-native species (INNS).

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Competitors from across Europe including France, Portugal and Spain; as well as British teams were asked to arrive with clean boats and gear to ensure no plant fragments or animals were brought in and after some thrilling canoe polo competitions, over 200 boats, kit and clothing had been washed down to prevent any of our nasties being spread elsewhere.

INNS are plants and animals which have been introduced to our country and have a negative impact on our environment, often restricting access to the places we love to paddle, harming our health and negatively impacting on our native plants and animals. These species include Himalayan Balsam and Killer Shrimp.  

It was great to see so many competitors really engaged with the Check Clean Dry message and keen to wash their boats and kit. As we launch our Access and Environmental Charter later this year we will be pledging to continue to act to protect and improve the health of our rivers. Our work with partners on preventing the spread of INNS reflects this commitment.

– Chantelle Grundy Access and Environment
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The onsite biosecurity facility was provided in partnership with North Wales Wildlife Trusts, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the Animal & Plant Health Agency.

Biosecurity is the most effective tool we have to prevent the spread of INNS and to protect our natural environment. This was a high profile event with athletes competing from all over Europe, giving us an ideal opportunity to work together to promote the Check Clean Dry message. This weekend has been a huge success, and we have been pleased with how enthusiastically the competitors embraced biosecurity.

– Mark Hudson from North Wales Wildlife Trust

For more information on INNS please visit our website