Last year we invited paddlers to take part in an online survey to understand the movement of UK paddlers.
We joined forces with the University of Leeds and their Biological Sciences Faculty to ask questions around how paddlers clean and store their equipment and gathered opinions on invasive non-native species too.
The summarised data has now been published, and there's some highlights in there for us too. Take a look at the PDF below and the bullet points taken from the research. And remember, always check, clean, dry!
The research indicates that knowledge of check clean dry as a biosecurity measure is improving, but we need to make sure all paddlers understand and carry out these measures before paddling on different waterways.
Why is check clean dry important?
Not only do a number of these alien species severely (and negatively) impact our native species, but they also have a massive impact on our canals, rivers, lakes and other waterways where we want to go paddling.
Several plant species cause a major headache to navigation authorities who have to spend around £25 million per year clearing these plants out of our waterways. They not only destroy the natural ecosystem, but can totally block any waterways they appear in. The local river you love paddling down could be completely taken over by floating pennywort for example, in a matter of days. This ‘clogging up’ prevents us from paddling, and also suffocates the other animals and plants living there too.
So remember, check, clean, dry and help stop the spread!