Putting our own house in order

Japanese Knotweed, American signal crayfish, zebra mussels are all species which have received a deservedly bad press in recent years. They may cause a shudder among those who know the huge damage they can cause, but does this reaction lead to effective steps to reduce the risks of such invasive species spreading?

It is a challenging question that for the new team managing the Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) has just come sharply into focus.  Our projects will inevitably give rise to fieldwork across the Yorkshire Ouse catchment alongside many partners and stakeholders with various interests in rivers and other watercourses.  We therefore have an opportunity to demonstrate good practice right from the start of the programme by getting our own house in order. But how best to do that?

Luckily, two University of Leeds colleagues, Alison Dunn and Claire Quinn, researching biosecurity, have found that some simple actions can reduce the risk of spreading invasive species; the problem is getting people to follow them. Yorkshire i-CASP is determined to help so we will be inviting all participants in the programme to assess the risk their projects pose and to complete a short online training module on biosecurity best practice when necessary.