Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Water launch new biosecurity project to prevent spread of INNS among high risk users. Find out more below

Biosecurity in action. Image: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

What is biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a subject which is becoming more and more important in today’s world. You may have heard this referred to in medical terms, particularly in regards to the recent pandemic. However it is also used to talk about Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS). This is because biosecurity refers to preventing the spread of organisms from one environment to another. INNS come in a variety of forms, they can be a plant, an animal or even a disease, but biosecurity is how we stop them from being introduced or spread into a new environment.

The project

The project will promote biosecurity best practice in South and West Yorkshire until April 2025. It is being led by a partnership between Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Yorkshire Water. It will involve:

  • Delivering training, workshops, and biosecurity at key events in the region. This will raise awareness of biosecurity with those most likely to come into contact with INNS.
  • Offering advice and support to clubs and organisations on biosecurity best practice. Supporting high risk users in embedding biosecurity into their outdoor activities.
  • Conducting monitoring to better understand barriers and attitudes of key water users towards biosecurity. Monitoring will provide useful information for the project in order to cater how groups are engaged with and how training and advice is delivered.

Yorkshire Water Biosecurity event. Image by Rachel Naden

The primary focus is on key water users such as anglers, paddlers & boaters. These users are most likely to come into contact and spread INNS further afield.

The project will engage and raise awareness with these users and a variety other clubs, groups and organisations who may come into contact with INNS, particularly within the water environment.

When thinking about biosecurity and preventing the spread of INNS it can feel daunting and complex, but biosecurity is something that everyone can do. It just requires some basic understanding of a simple procedure called, ‘Check, Clean, Dry’.

Check, Clean, Dry is a national campaign which outlines the basics of biosecurity.

1.‘Check’ your clothes, footwear and equipment for seeds, plant fragments or mud and remove them.

2. ‘Clean’, most easily done with water removing anything not able to be removed during the check process.

It should be noted that the ‘Check’ and ‘Clean’ stages of this process should be done on the site you have visited as you may end up transporting those unwanted invasive species with you if you fail to do so. Once they are complete you can begin the final step which is ‘Dry’

3. ‘Dry’ your clothes and equipment thoroughly, preferably for 48 hours. It is proven that many different INNS can last for days, even weeks, in damp conditions on clothes and equipment. This makes drying a crucial step for preventing the spread of INNS that may have been missed.

Biosecurity kit used between different sites. Image: Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Get involved!

Check, Clean, Dry a is great way everyone can get involved by doing their bit to protect our wonderful wildlife.

If you or your club could benefit from support with biosecurity in South & West Yorkshire please let our team know. Contact Alex Green at alex.green@ywt.org.uk.

Alex Green

Alex Green

INNS & Biosecurity Officer, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust


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