Check, Clean, Dry Biosecurity Partnership

Invasive non-native species (INNS) are one of the world’s biggest environmental threats and cost the GB economy nearly £2 billion annually. The cost to water companies is at least £7.5 million per annum, a figure expected to rise as increasing numbers of invasive species arrive in the country.

In order to limit future costs, maintain services and help protect the environment, eight water companies invested £150k per annum for three years from 2017-2020, to tackle aquatic invasive species through an enhanced Check, Clean, Dry work programme. The GB Non-native Species Secretariat (NNSS) led delivery of the work programme, overseen by a partnership steering group of water companies and key Check, Clean, Dry partners.

Logos of NNSS, Defra, Environment Agency, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Northumbria Water, South East Water, South West Water, Yorkshire Water, Severn Trent, Southern Water, Angling Trust, RYA, British Canoeing, British Rowing

Work programme

The work programme consisted of six key areas:

  1. Border campaign: run a Check, Clean, Dry campaign at the border.
  2. Survey: assess the current level of awareness and explore optimal mechanisms to bring about behaviour change.
  3. Communications products: refine our communication products (such as signage) and, where necessary, tailor them to different recreational user groups.
  4. Practical biosecurity: provide demonstrations at major sporting events and possibly procure mobile cleaning stations.
  5. Training: deliver training (including development of existing biosecurity e-learning), talks and articles in specialist magazines.
  6. European work: work with Belgian and Dutch partners to develop and deploy communication tools that can be used at high risk jump-off sites on mainland Europe.

Key achievements of the project

  • An annual Check, Clean, Dry border biosecurity campaign to reduce the risk of recreational water users introducing new INNS to Britain from mainland Europe.
  • An assessment of key stakeholder awareness and behaviour, showing a significant increase in uptake of good biosecurity behaviour amongst recreational water users since 2008, and exploration of optimal mechanisms to bring about further behaviour change.
  • Redevelopment of Check, Clean, Dry, creating bespoke materials targeting a range of recreational water users, and dissemination to priority sites, including water company assets.
  • Implementation of biosecurity measures at large kayaking competitions, and development of guidance for event managers, including those using water company assets.
  • Development of free online biosecurity training for water company staff.
  • Collaboration with neighbouring countries to help reduce the risk of introducing yet more INNS from mainland Europe.
End of Project Report (PDF)

Reception to celebrate collaboration on Check, Clean, Dry

A reception was held at the House of Lords on Monday 16 October 2017 to celebrate collaboration on the Check, Clean, Dry campaign.

Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity opened proceedings and thanked partners for their contributions.

Lord Gardiner and attendees at a reception held at the House of Lords to celebrate collaboration on the Check Clean Dry campaign.

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