New group steps up to tackle increasing problem of invasive species

Himalayan balsam. Impatiens glandulifera

Posted on: 29 March 2018

A new group tasked with tackling the ‘increasing problem’ of invasive non-native plants and animals in Devon has been formed.

The Devon Invasive Species Initiative (DISI) was launched in front of 220 delegates at the recent Devon Local Nature Partnership (DLNP) conference.

The DISI is part of the DLNP and the initiative was launched by the group’s co-chair and the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Ecologist, South West Water, Kate Hills.

Invasive Non-Native Species are plants or animals that have been brought into the UK. The country spends  around £1.7 billion a year on controlling invasive species which can have a serious and detrimental impact on the environment, the economy and health.

Individual species can change whole ecosystems and alter landscapes, while plants can block waterways and increase the risk of flooding.

Japanese knotweed alone is estimated to cost the British economy around £166 million per year and invasive species can damage infrastructure.

There are around 200 INNS in the UK, but this is increasing. INNS are the second greatest threat to biodiversity world-wide.

And now nature groups, public bodies, businesses and the public are urged to work together and help protect our countryside by reporting invasive species when and wherever possible.

To help do this groups and individuals are encouraged to use this website 
which will help confirm if a plant or animal is native to this country or not. The Devon LNP can be contacted through their website.

Kate Hills, the co-chair of the DISI, said: “Devon’s natural environment is not only beautiful it is our greatest asset and something none of us should take for granted. You can help us protect it by reporting invasive species when and where you see them online.”

Suzanne Goodfellow, DLNP Chair said: “The Devon Local Nature Partnership brings together all those interested in protecting and enhancing our environment for the benefit of everyone.
“Invasives can be a problem for anyone, but we need to work together to tackle them.”

3 comments on “New group steps up to tackle increasing problem of invasive species

  1. Tina Wasserman says:

    Yesterday 31-8-2018, I found a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys) in my back garden in Torre, Torquay. I did a little research to find out what it is and took some pictures of it. This is the second time (a few months ago) I have seen one in my back garden. I am reporting this as they could become very invasive and have a tendency to hibernate in peoples houses.

  2. Richard Hosking says:

    Pleased to hear that these species are being tackled.
    Will you please advise what the outcome of recording a site is likely to be? Do you have funds to tackle the weeds or will you be looking to the landowner to do this?

    • david.beasley says:

      Thanks for your interest and comments. Recording invasive species will give the DISI a much better understanding on what problems there are and where they are in the county. This information we help facilitate potential projects with partners in the future and help determine what guidance should be issued in which areas.



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