Local Action Groups Workshop 2010

Participants at the 2011 Local Action Group Workshop

A workshop of key staff in local action groups, together with policy and delivery personnel was held 25-26 January 2010 at Preston Montford, Shrewsbury. Draft materials for the resource pack were presented to the workshop participants and feedback was used to refine materials and steer development of the Local Action Group NNSS webpages.

Aims and objectives of the workshop are outlined below:


To examine how the GB Non-native Species Secretariat can best facilitate the establishment and delivery of local invasive non-native species action groups.


  1. Provide an overview of the GB strategy for non-native species and explore how local action groups can best fit into its implementation.
  2. Examine current examples of local action.
  3. Present proposals for a resource pack for local action groups through the NNSS website.
  4. Explore the proposed resource pack, gather feedback and explore other possible methods for the NNSS to be able to assist local action groups.

Participants of 2011 Workshop

Olaf Booy GB Non-native Species Secretariat
Ama Chaney Dorset Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group
Catherine Chatters Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust
Ruth Clarricoates Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
Matthew Ellis Countryside Council for Wales
Vicky Freke Avon Invasive Weed Forum/Environment Agency
Catherine Fuller Environment Agency
Sean Hathaway City and County of Swansea
Peter Haynes GB Non-native Species Secretariat
Joanna Heisse Environment Agency
Chris Horrill Rivers and Fisheries Trusts Scotland
Verity Hunter GB Non-native Species Secretariat
Bill Jenman Wiltshire Wildlife Trust
Tom King Environment Agency
Ben Lamb South Cumbria Rivers Trust
James Macfarlane Cornwall County Council / Knotweed Forum
Mike McCabe Countryside Council for Wales
Ben McCarthy Natural England
Niall Moore GB Non-native Species Secretariat
Alison Reed Eden Rivers Trust
Trevor Renals Environment Agency
Lisa Rennocks Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Tom Richards Wye and Usk Foundation
Angela Robinson Scottish Government
Michael Sutton-Croft Norfolk Non-native Species Initiative
Huw Thomas Defra

Synopsis of Workshop 2010

The workshop was divided into three themes with a breakout discussion session for each theme:

  1. Planning, priorities and good practice
  2. Training, volunteering and monitoring
  3. Communication and public relations

Talks were given by:

  • Chris Horrill - Strategic planning
  • Catherine Chatters - Monitoring
  • Michael Sutton-Croft - Stakeholder engagement

Summary of conclusions:

1. Planning, priorities and good practice.

  • Coordination is usually regional. More tactical planning is needed.
  • There is a need to make national and regional strategies more accessible.
  • Identifying key problem species that pose the greatest threat is key and concentrating efforts on those species.
  • Identify catchment level interests on the ground.
  • Training is important including who should be trained and delivery of training.
  • Good practice information should be captured including case studies and evidence especially for more common species.
  • Guidance was needed on how to capture results and highlight local cases for example to funders.

2. Training, volunteering and monitoring.Training needs identified included:

  • ID, ecology, management, leadership, biosecurity, monitoring and surveying, wildlife enforcement, media handling.
  • Training of rapid response teams was identified as a priority.
  • In order to maintain skills refresher courses are necessary.
  • Guidance is needed for standard methodologies for monitoring surveying.
  • Information on Health and safety and first aid requirements should be made available.
  • Encourage recording and reporting by including biosecurity and survey and reporting requirements in consultant contracts.
  • Volunteering efforts should be recorded and information for volunteers should be highlighted.
  • Templates are needed for example for survey methods or generic risk assessments.

3. Communication and public relations.

  • Statistics, facts and economic impact information is needed.
  • Press style information such as quotes and soundbites would be very useful.
  • In order to aid communication and establish dialogue between different groups a register of projects with contacts names and details is necessary as well as regular meetings between coordinators.

Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark