Reducing the risk of the introduction and spread of Invasive Non Native Species to and within the river catchments of Yorkshire and across GB.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Sch of Biology

Abstract

Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) are animals and plants that have been introduced (as a result of human activity) outside their normal range, and which have negative effects on our economy, biodiversity and even health. Aquatic ecosystems (rivers, streams, lakes) are particularly affected by INNS which may be spread by activities such as trade, transport and recreation. The cost to GB of INNS is ~£1.7bn per year (GB Non Native Species Secretariat). Once INNS become established in a river, it is often difficult and expensive to manage them. It is far more cost effective to prevent their introduction in the first place, and to prevent the wider spread of INNS that have established. Such prevention is termed biosecurity. Good biosecurity to prevent the introduction and spread of INNS is a core requirement of the recent EU legislation on Invasive Species and of the GB Invasive Non Native Species strategy.

AIM
The aim of this proposal is to reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of aquatic INNS in Yorkshire (medium term) and the UK (long term). We will use results from recent research at the University of Leeds and work with project partners from government, charities and business to develop good biosecurity practice in the day-to-day activities of partner organisations as well as the wider community.

OBJECTIVES
- Identify key invasion pathways by which INNS may arrive
- Establish good biosecurity practice/protocols for a range of activities
- Develop a biosecurity risk assessment process for events/projects/sites/activities
- Promote and disseminate training materials on biosecurity and evaluate uptake and effectiveness.

OUR PROJECT PARTNERS ARE:
Members of the Yorkshire Dales INNS strategy steering group:
The Environment Agency (EA), Yorkshire Water (YW), Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAONB), Natural England (NE), Forestry Commission (FC), Nationl Trust (NT), Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT), Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT), Dales to Vale River Network (DVRN)

Other partners: Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum (YISF), Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

The project also has the support of the GB Non Native Species Secretariat.

OUTCOMES
The outcomes that we envisage from this project are twofold;
1) improved regional biosecurity practice adopted by our project partners;
2) improvement of INNS biosecurity nationally through adoption of evidence informed approaches and policy.
Both have the impacts of reducing risks and associated costs to our biodiversity and economy of INNS introduction and spread

Planned Impact

The outcomes of the project are twofold:
1. Improved biosecurity practice in our project partners
2. Better approaches and policy on Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) biosecurity nationally.

The benefits will be that the spread of INNS is reduced (both in the Yorkshire Region and Nationally). This will reduce the damage to the environment and to ecosystem services caused by INNS. It will have direct economic benefit to the partners and nationally by reducing the costs that result from INNS damage and from the management of INNS.

Project partners.
The project involves thirteen partners (end-users). Eleven of the partners are members of the Yorkshire Dales Biosecurity and INNS steering group: The Environment Agency (EA), Yorkshire Water (YW), Yorkshire Wildlife Trust (YWT), Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (NAONB), Natural England (NE), Forestry Commission (FC), National Trust (NT), Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (YDRT), Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT), Dales to Vale River Network (DVRN). In addition to participating in activities leading to improved biosecurity in the Yorkshire region, many of these partners are part of wider national networks, providing a route to impact on INNS biosecurity practice and policy nationally.
Other project partners who also provide a route to wider impact are: Yorkshire Invasive Species Forum (YSIF), Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Project partners will benefit from :
1. Embedding of new knowledge on INNS and biosecurity among staff, customers and other third parties
2. Biosecurity best practice embedded in the day to day activities of project partner operations
3. Identification of opportunities and barriers to uptake, leading to behavioural change in partner organisations

The key impacts will be
- A more effective, robust and sustainable approach to biosecurity in the Yorkshire Region and in GB
- Reduced risks of INNS spread and associated costs including: damage to assets, damage to the environment, damage to ecosystem services, costs of managing INNS, and reputational damage.

Publications

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