Project Background

The Lancashire Invasive Species Project

Invasive non-native species are thought to be the second most important threat to global biodiversity after habitat loss. A 2010 report estimated the cost of invasive species to the UK economy at £1.7 billion per year and their impact is rising. Invasive species also reduce the ecological status of a river which will jeopardise our Water Framework Directive goals. Lancashire has a variety of different invasive species, some of which have been here for a long time, others are more recent. Each of these contributes to a reduction of native biodiversity and a degradation of the environment. 

 Source: GBNNSS

To tackle this problem, the Ribble Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency have set up the Lancashire Invasive Species Project. This pilot scheme will coordinate the monitoring and management of invasive species across the county.  The aim is to develop a management strategy for the effective control of invasive species throughout Lancashire. It is hoped that the catchment based approach will prove to be a very effective way of managing invasive species.

A crucial part of this project is to map the distribution of each species using existing data, field surveys and public records. This website allows you to record your sightings, and provides access to information about invasive species.

How you can help

Please record your sightings of invasive species using this site or the survey form (below). This doesn’t mean you have to go out specifically to survey, just record what you see whenever you are out and about. The identification guides on this site are provided courtesy of the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat and are available to freely download and print.

This project will rely on help from volunteers and landowners. We need volunteers to help survey for invasive species, pull balsam and spray knotweed. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us or tick the box on the form.

If you are a landowner and have invasive species, we would like to talk with you about how we can work together to control them.

Recording your sightings

Recording your sightings lets us build up a map of the distribution of each invasive species in the county. The more sightings you record, the more complete the map will be. This information directly influences the approach we take to the management of the species. 

There are three main aspects to recording your sightings that are really important.

  1. Identifying which species you have seen.
  2. An accurate location (e.g. 6 figure grid reference).
  3. The date you saw the species.

These are the essentials of recording your sighting but other information such as the abundance is also useful. 

Most of the plant species spread predominantly in a downstream direction. It is therefore important to identify their upper limit on each stream. For this reason, surveying the small tributaries is a priority. 

If you would like to record multiple sightings, or carry out a more structured survey of a stretch of river or stream, you can download our survey form. This can either be emailed or posted back to us. 

Post: Ribble Rivers Trust, c/o Hanson Cement Ltd, Ribblesdale Works, Clitheroe, BB7 4QF

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