"Top Ten Tips" for stopping the spread of invasive species

How can you help stop the spread of invasive non-native species?

The Initiative's "Top Ten Tips" for stopping the spread of invasive species

Floating Pennywort - (Photo credit: CCW)

  1. Dispose of your garden and pond waste in a responsible way (do not fly tip!). Composting unwanted plants in your own garden helps stop the spread of these species and can save you money too!
  2. Always buy native aquatic plants for your garden pond. If the labelling is inadequate or staff cannot tell you the origins of the plants on offer, then consider going elsewhere! Details of suitable native plants can be accessed by clicking here.
  3. Don't swap pond plants or animals (including frog spawn) between ponds. This might sound overly cautious, but it only takes a tiny fragment of many invasive aquatic plants for a new plant to grow and your pond to become infested!
  4. Beware of hitch-hikers! When you purchase an aquatic plant always check that there is only one type of plant in the pot. Many invasive aquatic weeds require only a tiny fragment of plant material for a new plant to grow, and can often 'contaminate' other non-invasive aquatic plants such as water lilies. Before putting a new plant into your pond, rinse it over a bucket, to wash away any fragments of invasive plants, and pour the waste water over a compost heap or flowerbed (NOT down the drain).
  5. Do not release unwanted pond or aquarium fishes into the 'wild'. Many of Norfolk's rivers and ponds contain fish that are not native to the area, and are disrupting the normal functioning of the ecosystem. Please contact the Initiative for advice on re-homing unwanted fish (contact details at the bottom of this page).
  6. Do not release unwanted pets into the 'wild' either. There is an increasing concern that animals that are currently kept as pets, such as the Siberian chipmunk which is causing significant problems in France, could establish feral populations in the wild through deliberate releases.
  7. Anglers can play a key role in conserving the few remaining populations of native white-clawed crayfish in Norfolk. The native crayfish is threatened with extinction by the 'crayfish plague', as well as by out-competition by introduced species of crayfish. Crayfish plague can be spread from one waterbody to another on an angler's equipment if it is not properly dried out after fishing an area containing the plague. A population of native crayfish can be wiped out without any invasive crayfish being present through one careless action!
  8. If you see any of our six priority species, then please let us know! We maintain a database to monitor the distribution of these species in Norfolk and this information is essential to plan appropriate and effective management across the county. Contact details of the Initiative's Co-ordinator can be found at the bottom of this page.
  9. Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about invasive non-native species and the impacts that they are having.
  10. Come out and get your hands dirty! The Initiative organises a 'Day of Action' each year to help control invasive alien species, and extra help is always needed. In addition, there are lots of volunteer groups across the county that conduct valuable conservation work on a more regular basis, including the clearance of invasive weeds such as Himalayan balsam. The BTCV maintains a database of Community Conservation Groups, which can be accessed by clicking here.

If you require any more information, please do not hesitate to contact the Initiative Co-ordinator directly by e-mail: michael.sutton-croft@norfolk.gov.uk