More about Invasive Species Week

Invasive non-native species are one of the top five causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. Here in the UK they harm the environment, threaten some of our rarest species and cost our economy over £1.8 billion a year.

You can help stop the introduction and spread of invasive species by following these six guidelines:  

Be a careful gardener. Most invasive non-native plants didn’t escape into the wild, they were thrown out into the wild. Over-vigorous aliens like montbretia or Spanish squill are all too often dug out of somebody’s garden and discarded in a countryside ditch. All recycling centres will safely compost your garden waste.

[1] Montbretia [2] Spanish squill

Be an informed purchaser. Make sure that the plants you are buying for your garden are not invasive; your local nursery staff should be able help you identify plants that might cause problems. Try to replace the invasive plants in your garden with non-invasive alternatives.

Be a responsible pet owner: never release your pets or allow them to escape into the wild. There are wild colonies of parakeets in towns in southern England and terrapins in our waterways. If you are planning to own an exotic pet make sure it has been bred in captivity and be careful to keep it (and its eggs, larvae and offspring) secure.

[3] rose ringed parakeet [4] terrapins

Please clean your boots before you walk in the reserve; please don’t tramp Himalayan balsam seed along our woodland paths.

Be alert! Look out for and report the species that we know are particularly damaging: Asian hornets, American bullfrogs, Japanese knotweed.

[5] Himalayan balsam [6] Asian hornet

Volunteer: join an organisation and help remove invasive species. Our bluebells in the reserve’s copses have been invaded by Spanish squill and we need help to remove the squill flowers before they can make seed. We meet on Wednesday mornings at half past nine, in the car park; come and join us.

Header picture: American bullfrog by Tom Thai (CC BY 2.0) flickr.com

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  1. Even 12 years ago when I lived on the Kent coast, A parakeet was a regular visitor to our birdfeeders. Much to the annoyance of other local birds as the parakeet ate all the peanuts!

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