What should our project do?

Members of a local action group discussing non-native species control
Here we provide some guidance to help you set out the strategic aims of your project. You can also find information on the activities of other Local Action Groups to inspire you! If you would like to add information on your local group please .

Project planning

To properly plan your project you should consider:

  1. Terms of Reference - To help identify the purpose of the project.
  2. Aims and Objectives - To determine what needs to be done.
  3. Local Strategic Plan - It may be helpful to prepare a strategic plan which may involve setting priorities, choosing management options, surveys, training, volunteers and awareness raising.
  4. Project Review - Regularly reviewing the progress of a project and adjusting the ToR, aims and objectives and local strategic plan where necessary to keep the project on target.

More information on each of these topics can be found below.


More information

British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) Network (external link) - How to set up a community group and keep it going sustainably and how to become a local expert.

Start a Green Gym (external link) - BTCV

Mammal Society - how to set up a local group (external link).

Freshwater Non-Native Species Management Initiatives (pdf) (Natural England). This report contains very useful infomation including how to identify relevant stakeholders, how to prioritise species for action, awareness raising and education, collection and validation of species specific information, monitoring, mapping and data storage.

Invasive Alien Species: A Toolkit of Best Prevention and Management Practices. Edited by Rudiger Wittenberg and Matthew J.W. Cook (2001). Cabi Publishing on behalf of Global Invasive Species Programme. This Toolkit contains very useful information on prevention, early detection and assessment and management of non-native species.

Terms of Reference

The following terms of reference (ToR) can be used as a guide for local forums to consider when establishing the purpose of the group:

  • To raise awareness of the risks and impacts of non-native plant and animal species throughout a region or area;
  • To coordinate a strategic effort to monitor, control, remove and raise awareness of non-native species in a region/area;
  • To develop and disseminate information and experience of good practice (including detection, monitoring, control, and removal of non-native species);
  • To encourage recording, reporting and dissemination of information of non-native species, including survey information;
  • To provide advice to interest groups on good practice management of non-native species;
  • To encourage the application of bio-security measures;
  • To seek funding opportunities for invasive species management;
  • To meet regularly to report on action to be taken and progress made.

It may also be useful for a local forum to identify and agree on:

  • The membership of the group including a chair and deputy;
  • The specific area or region to be covered;
  • The schedule of meetings, biannually/quarterly etc.

There is some very useful information on terms of reference in the Natural England Report 'Freshwater Non-Native Species Management Initiatives' (by E. Taylor and E. Lycett, Atkins Ltd), see section 2.25 and Appendices A and B.


Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives of each LAG are very much driven by the needs of local stakeholders. A LAG fills a niche that no other organisation in the locality is occupying and adds value to the work of existing organisations already engaged in the management of INS through more effective co-ordination and strategic targeting of resources.

Aims and objectives differ from the broad ambitions set out in the Terms of Reference as they are more specific and describe more about how the LAG will go about its work. Some plans set out their ‘Terms of Reference’ as the ‘aims’ of the project, and then use ‘objectives’ to set out more clearly the specific tasks they will undertake to achieve their ‘aims’. This is a slightly different structure, but is just another way of presenting the same information.

Common aims and objectives for LAGs include:

  • Raise awareness by attending and organising events, producing and disseminating leaflets/posters etc and encourage community involvement (including landowners and volunteers etc);
  • Coordinate a strategic effort by preparing a strategic local plan which includes identifying priorities, mapping the presence of a species, horizon scanning and involvement from volunteers and landowners;
  • Exchange good practice experience by identifying and keeping up to date with Best Available Techniques, seeking alternative methods and liaising with other groups working on the same species/problems;
  • Exchange information by producing and disseminating literature, attend and organise events and make data gathered from surveys available;
  • Provide advice by producing and disseminating leaflets/posters, provide training and attend or organise events;
  • Encourage uptake of biosecurity methods by education and raising awareness;
  • Identify and apply for potential funding and request financial assistance from appropriate bodies;
  • Meet regularly to update the strategic local plan.

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