44. Invasive Non-Native Species - INNS
Theme: Promoting appropriate and sympathetic land management
- Control or eradicate invasive non-native species
All rivers are affected by certain 'exotic' plants and animals that have been introduced to this country and that are out competing our native species. On the Lea and adjacent sites these include Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, Canadian golden rod and signal crayfish.
Challenges and Choices, the Environment Agency consultation in early 2020 on the challenges that our waters face and the choices we need to make to improve and protect the resource, includes a section on INNS and questions what can be done to address the issue.
It is felt that the focus needs to be on eradication of the issue rather than on control as often is the case. To support full eradication it must be carried out as part of an integrated approach where local management initiatives are developed and supported through catchment delivery, and complemented by relevant legislation enforced where landowners do not engage or do not implement management programmes. Where possible, DEFRA-licenced biological control of INNS should be promoted.
In the meantime the catchment partnership through the action of the partners and associated volunteers will continue to monitor the situation, plot issues, raise awareness, and encourage landowners to take action. We are keen that the situation along the river does not deteriorate.