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1 NEWSLETTER ISSUE 2 AUTUMN 2011 Welcome to the second CFINNS Initiative Newsletter. This year has been a hive of activity and it is going to be difficult to condense it into a newsletter, but we shall try... U P D A T E F R O M T H E C O O R D I N A T O R The Initiative has been running now for 17 months and a lot has happened in this short space of time. The summer of 2011 has been an incredibly exciting and busy one, with loads going on all over the county, delivering and coordinating action against aquatic and riparian invasive non-native species (INNS). I would like to thank everyone for their continued support as partnership working really is key to the success of the Initiative. Bekka Corrie-Close I N S I D E T H I S I S S U E : Cumbria Freshwater Biosecurity Plan 1 Windermere Reflections 2 Launch of Eden Invasive Species Group Fourth Stakeholders Forum 2 Collaborative efforts on the Kent 3 Local Action Group Case Study 4 Local Action Groups Receive Funding 4 Check Clean Dry Campaign 5 Training Opportunity 6 2 Japanese knotweed shoot growing amongst young Himalayan balsam plants along the River Kent. C U M B R I A F R E S H W A T E R B I O S E C U R I T Y P L A N In our last newsletter we brought you the exciting news that the Cumbria Freshwater Invasive Non-Native Species (CFINNS) Initiative had been chosen to lead in the first ever Freshwater Biosecurity Plan in England. The freshwater resources in Cumbria are of great ecological and economic significance. This combination of a high quality water environment and high usage and visitor pressure, makes biosecurity and the management of INNS issue a particularly high conservation priority for Cumbria. The Plan addresses freshwater and riparian INNS in Cumbria and presents actions for the prevention, early detection, control and mitigation of the introduction and spread of INNS, diseases and parasites. The Plan is currently out for consultation and shall be released shortly with the support of partners and high risk user groups in the county. The objectives of the Plan will be achieved through a partnership approach to implement the agreed actions over the next five years. To access this document, visit our website at Head Office: Plumgarths, Crook Road, Kendal, Cumbria. LA8 8LX t: e: w:

2 Page 2 W I N D E R M E R E R E F L E C T I O N S As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded 1 million Windermere Reflections programme, we have been successful in leading one of the 19 projects on INNS. South Cumbria Rivers Trust and the Lake District National Park will lead in the delivery of a three year project to survey, map and control INNS within the Windermere catchment. We are currently seeking volunteers to help next year with identifying, surveying and controlling INNS. All training will be provided. If you are interested and would like to learn more, please contact L A U N C H O F E D E N I N V A S I V E S P E C I E S G R O U P Eden Rivers Trust in partnership with Natural England has launched a new initiative in the Eden Valley to take action against INNS. This has mobilised all interested parties in a coordinated plan of attack, to stop the spread of unwanted species already present and prevent the introduction of others not yet arrived. The aim of the Eden Invasive Species Group is to identify INNS found within the River Eden catchment, prioritise future control, and to coordinate the work that is already being done. For more information about the group go to: F O U R T H S T A K E H O L D E R S F O R U M On Tuesday 13th September, organisations joined to hold the Fourth Cumbria INNS Stakeholders Forum. The morning consisted of a progress report from the Initiative Coordinator and an introduction to the Cumbria Freshwater Biosecurity Plan. Delegates then learnt about the actions devised from the Plan s objectives and discussed the proposed actions. A short presentation about upcoming potential financial opportunities by Alastair Maltby from The Rivers Trust was also given. The Fifth Stakeholders Forum will be held in Summer 2012.

3 Page 3 COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS ON THE KENT Over the summer months, South Cumbria Rivers Trust, the Kent Invasive Plant Action Group, the Cumbria Probation Trust, the Environment Agency and United Utilities teamed up to control three INNS from along a stretch of the River Kent in Kendal. Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed infestations have been an increasing problem whilst Himalayan balsam has dominated the whole area for a number of years. This work is part of a strategic control programme which has been implemented from the top of the catchment. BEFORE: A monoculture of Himalayan balsam JUST AFTER: Area cleared of Himalayan balsam A huge collaborative effort was required to knock back the infestation and the difference is incredible. From initial surveys, species such as ground elder, oxe-eye daisy, black knapsweed, meadowsweet and red campion are recolonising which is very encouraging, along inevitably with nettles. The feedback from the public from having offenders assisting in the control of INNS has also been very encouraging and has caught the attention of the media. NOW: Regeneration of native plants This has been a great opportunity for us to raise awareness of the problems surrounding INNS, of the projects running in the county and the fantastic work that can be achieved with collaborative partner working.

4 Page 4 L O C A L A C T I O N G R O U P C A S E S T U D Y In each newsletter we would like to highlight some of the fantastic work going on around the county. This issue the focus will be on the Derwent Invasive Species Group and written by Ian Creighton. Himalayan balsam Himalayan balsam Himalayan balsam has been a significant problem over much of the River Derwent for many years now. This invasive plant produces hundreds of seeds each year. Many of these are washed downstream and deposited on the river banks and flood plains. As a result, the major efforts have been concentrated in the upper reaches, namely, Derwent up-stream Bassenthwaite Lake, from Bassenthwaite lake down to Cockermouth and the Cocker up-stream from Lorton. This massive enterprise has involved many partners, farmers and private individuals. The partner organisations included the Derwent Rivers Trust, Environment Agency, Natural England, National Trust, National Park, Derwent Owners Association, Bassenthwaite Reflections, Probation Service and British Trust of Conservation Volunteers. The main weapons used against this alien invader are selective weed killers, strimmers, grazing livestock and hand pulling. Building on the hard work from previous years it was possible this year to organise over twenty pairs of willing volunteers to adopt stretches of river and lake shore to prevent the surviving plants from seeding (April to September). This has been a massive success and it is hoped it continue this for the next two to three years to totally eradicate this menace from many stretches of our river. As our successes accumulate, the focal point of the work will move downstream. L O C A L A C T I O N G R O U P S R E C E I V E F U N D I N G Three Local Action Groups (LAGs) in Cumbria have been successful in receiving some funding from Defra. The Derwent Invasive Species Group, Kent Invasive Plant Action Group and the Eden Invasive Species Group will benefit from the purchase and training in the use of surveying and control equipment. The funding will also contribute towards running identification training workshops. This will enable the three LAGs to build on their existing work with Increased expertise, well-equipped to safely involve increasing numbers of volunteers. The funding will assist in laying the foundations for the LAGs to deliver a step change in the management of INNS in the county, with real delivery of Water Framework Directive actions, the GB Invasive Non Native Species Framework Strategy and the Cumbria Freshwater Biosecurity Plan.

5 Page 5 CHECK- C L E A N - DRY A national campaign was launched in March this year to protect Britain s waters from infestation by INNS. The campaign is targeted at recreational users of freshwaters and calls upon anglers, boaters, paddlers and walkers to follow three simple preventative procedures: CHECK you are not carrying plant materials and organisms, particularly on areas that are damp or difficult to inspect. Leave any organisms in the water where you found them. CLEAN all equipment, footwear and clothes and remove any plant material and organisms. Use water but ensure washings go back to where they came from. DRY all equipment and clothing in moist conditions species can live for many days. Empty any collected water back into its source or onto the ground. The Cumbria Freshwater Invasive Non- Native Species Initiative has been championing the campaign in Cumbria. Support was sought from a range of individual, organisations and clubs to promote the campaign by displaying promotional material and spreading the message of Check-Clean-Dry. We are proud to announce that over 45 organisations in the county have now joined to support this campaign and the four Rivers Trusts (South Cumbria, Derwent, Eden and Lune) have all pledged to Check Clean and Dry every time they visit a body of water. To learn more about this campaign, visit our website or to pledge your organisations support, contact

6 Page 6 T R A I N I N G O P P O R T U N I T Y We shall shortly be offering a number of training workshops to local organisations, Forum partners and local interest groups on the identification of current and potential aquatic and riparian invasive nonnative species, including those on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. The aim of the workshops will be for you to become familiar with those currently present and potential INNS, including those now listed on Schedule 9 and to develop your identification skills for these species. The workshop will include an overview of the listed species, their ecology and distribution. We will also cover native look-alikes. You will then become part of the early warning and reporting network in Cumbria as identified in the Cumbria Freshwater Biosecurity Plan. Anyone is welcome to come and learn, booking is essential and dates are yet to be confirmed. There will be a minimal cost to the workshops. To register your interest, contact Do you know which one is the highly invasive non-native pennywort? Head Office: Plumgarths, Crook Road, Kendal, Cumbria. LA8 8LX t: e: w: