Invasive Species Week

Invasive Species Week title banner with images of a range of invasive species (rhododendron, killer shrimp, mink, harlequin ladybirds, floating pennywort, Asian hornet and American skunk cabbage)

Invasive Species Week is an annual event led by the NNSS to raise awareness of invasive species and how everyone can help to prevent their spread.

Invasive Species Week 2021

The next Invasive Species Week will be held during the week beginning 24th May 2021.

Throughout the week lots of events and activities will be taking place that people can take part in online or socially distanced. We know that many have been finding solace in nature over the last year, and we hope that we can share some simple tips to help people protect the environment.

Stay tuned for more information and  to be added to the mailing list for updates.

How to take part

If you or your organisation would like to take part, we have a few quick suggestions below for how to do so but we’d love to hear your ideas too:
  • Support on social media. You can find us on twitter at @InvasiveSp (external link) where we’ll be posting throughout the week, but if you’d like to create your own content we’ll be putting together a pack of resources to make this easier.
  • Create displays at outdoor sites. If you manage or work at a site that’s popular with walkers, you could create a display or even an invasive species treasure hunt.
  • Hold an online webinar or training session. We’ll be hosting some of these during the week but would love to promote yours too. If you’re a zoom novice we can give you some tips on running a talk or workshop online.
  • Write a blog. Let people know how invasive species affect your local area, and how they can help to prevent this.
  • Share information and awareness raising materials with your networks. We’ll send out links to these soon, and would love to help you share your own with other organisations if you have something you think others would find useful.

Ways to protect the environment

There are simple things that you can do all year round:

  • If you’re an angler, canoeist, boater or similar, Check Clean Dry your kit after leaving the water to avoid spreading invasive species between waterbodies. It’s even more important if you’re abroad as you could bring back new plants and animals.
  • Be Plant Wise and don't let your pond or aquarium plants enter the wild.
  • Take care of your pets, never release them or allow them to escape into the wild. It’s cruel and could harm other wildlife.
  • Look out for Asian hornet. Read more on Asian hornet and how to report sightings where you can also find links to download the Asian Hornet Watch app.
  • If you enjoy being outside why not join a Local Action Group working on invasive species management.  to find your nearest group.

Highlights from Invasive Species Week 2019

Infographic showing highlights of Invasive Species Week 2019, listed below

Invasive Species Week 2019 took place across England, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Highlights (also shown in the infographic above) include:

  • Over 320 organisations took part
  • 93 events were held including practical management, talks, and training
  • 43 tweets from the official Invasive Species Week Twitter account (@InvasiveSp) reached 150,000 Twitter feeds
  • 2 ministers took part in removal of invasive plants
  • 1 panel took place in the House of Lords to discuss invasive species issues
  • 34 work parties removed 7 species of invasive plants
  • 1 international exchange day took place in France
  • 28 blogs were posted
  • 4 TV interviews were held
  • 31 videos were shared

Images used throughout: Catherine Chatters, Environment Agency, GB NNSS, Jean Haxaire, John W Anderson, Natural Resources Wales, Nick Davies, RPS Group, Trevor Renals.

Thin strip of image show tree trunk and bark