With 17 million visitors to the Lake District every year the lakes in the Derwent catchment get their fair share of water sports enthusiasts from across the country! Unfortunately, species such as New Zealand Pygmyweed, Floating Pennywort and Canadian Waterweed can spread by hitchhiking on boat hulls, paddleboards, windsurf boards, fishing rods, bike tyres, walking boots, wellies, survey equipment and even dog paws! When we visit a different place, these often-invisible hitchhikers can be transferred and can become established in a new location, sometimes with devastating effects. Gardeners also need practice good biosecurity and not allow plants to spread into the wild, and dispose of garden plants and compost with care.

Biosecurity can help reduce the risk of introducing and spreading invasive non-native species and with good biosecurity routines incorporated into your everyday practise we can help stop the spread together.

  • Check your equipment, boat and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site.
  • Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to areas that are damp and hard to access. Use hot water if possible.
  • Dry everything for as long as possible (ideally 48hrs) before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for two weeks in damp conditions.

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