New book: Field Guide to Invasive Plants and Animals in Britain

23 March 2015

New book: Field Guide to Invasive Plants and Animals in Britain
Title: Field Guide to Invasive Plants and Animals in Britain
Date of publication: 12/3/15

Description from the publisher:

"The impact of invasive organisms is second only to habitat loss as a threat to biodiversity and yet, despite increasing ecological awareness, people remain largely unaware of these plants and animals and their potentially devastating impact. Although most biological introductions fail, many prove successful and these can prove disastrous for native fauna and flora.

This field guide will enable the identification of a range of invasive plants and animals now found in Britain. Though these species are of particular concern to conservationists there has previously been no unified guide devoted to their recognition. This book will act both as an ID guide, appealing to the amateur naturalist, and as an important tool for ecologists and land managers attempting to tackle the problem posed by invasive species."

New killer shrimp awareness raising leaflet

20 March 2015

New killer shrimp awareness raising leaflet
Natural Resources Wales have produced a new leaflet to raise awareness of killer shrimp and Check Clean Dry. Download a copy here in English and  Welsh

New biosecurity plan for the Shetland Islands to tackle non-native species

04 March 2015

New biosecurity plan for the Shetland Islands to tackle non-native species
The NAFC Marine Centre’s Marine Spatial Planning Team has published a ‘Biosecurity Plan for the Shetland Islands’ – a management guide for non-native species. Non-native species are plants and animals that have been introduced to Shetland from elsewhere in the world by human activities.

Although there are currently no problematic non-native or ‘invasive’ species in Shetland, in some extreme cases, invasive species can severely impact the local economy and environment. By identifying key pathways for species introductions and assessing how they spread once here, we can work towards mitigating any impacts on Shetland’s important marine environment and industry. The Biosecurity plan provides useful and practical guidance for all marine users (commercial and recreational) on how to reduce the number of introductions to Shetland and ways of minimising their impact. The Plan builds on three years’ worth of monitoring work, which has detected a number of non-native species in the many marinas and ports around the Shetland coastline.

NAFC Marine Centre’s Marine Spatial Planning Officer, Dr Samuel Collin, commented:

The Biosecurity Plan will play an important role in increasing public awareness of the problems associated with non-native species and how adopting simple practices can help with controlling their spread and impact. Our understanding of what causes problematic invasions is improving all the time and by implementing the Biosecurity Plan we can begin to address some of the challenges that come with non-native species management.”

The guidance provided within the Biosecurity Plan supports the fourth edition of the Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP), which is one of the most advanced marine environmental management plans in the UK. The addition of the Biosecurity Plan adds a new dimension to the SMSP, keeping Shetland at the forefront of marine environmental management.

NAFC Marine Centre’s Marine Spatial Planning Manager Rachel Shucksmith commented:

The Biosecurity Plan for the Shetland Islands will form an important addition to the Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan. Shetland is leading the way in local marine management and thanks to the support and input from local advisors and industry groups, we are confident that the new guidance will be an invaluable resource to reduce the risk posed by marine non-native species, helping to safe guard Shetland’s important marine industries and natural heritage.”

The development of the Biosecurity Plan was funded by Marine Scotland and the NAFC Marine Centre (University of Highlands and Islands) and the report and maps are available to download from the NAFC website at

Further information: For further information, please contact: Dr Samuel Collin or Rachel Shucksmith, NAFC Marine Centre, tel. 01595 772000, email, or visit

Environment Agency unveils new rod licence images to promote legal fishing

02 March 2015

Environment Agency unveils new rod licence images to promote legal fishing
The Environment Agency today (Monday 2nd March) unveils its new design for this year’s rod licences.

Designed by renowned angling and wildlife artist, David Miller, the new rod licences go on sale today. The image on this year’s coarse fishing rod licence is a crucian carp (Carassius carassius) and the non-coarse is a salmon (Salmo salar).

Last year David’s artwork featured on a range of sustainable fish stamps for the Royal Mail.

Sarah Chare, head of fisheries at the Environment Agency, said:

“Rod licence income is used to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries for the benefit of anglers. We want more people to go fishing this year and everyone who does will need one of these licences.

“We’re delighted to see David’s stunning designs yet again which promote the beauty of our natural environment and encourage people to give fishing a go.”

David Miller, the artist who designed the rod licence, said:

“Designing this year’s rod licence combines two of my passions: fishing and art. The Environment Agency does a fantastic job and I’m proud to be supporting rod licence sales with my artwork.”

At £27 for coarse fishing and non-migratory trout, or £72 to also fish for salmon and sea trout, the annual licence is great value for money. There are flexible options to choose from too: a 1 or 8 day licence or the full season. There are also junior and concession options.

You can buy a rod licence online from the Post Office here, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.

Buying a rod licence online from the Post Office website is easy, and saves both time and administration costs, meaning that more of the income can be spent on improving fish stocks and fishing. Always ensure that you buy direct from the Post Office because there are some unofficial websites which charge a handling fee.

Anyone fishing illegally is cheating other licence paying anglers, can expect to be prosecuted and face a substantial fine.

In 2013/ 2014 the Environment Agency checked 80,000 rod licences and prosecuted 2,795 anglers for fishing without a licence.

Infrastructure Bill receives Royal Assent - bringing species control agreements and orders to England and Wales

13 February 2015

Infrastructure Bill receives Royal Assent - bringing species control agreements and orders to England and Wales
The Infrastructure Act 2015 became law yesterday (12 February 2015). While the Act primarily relates to infrastructure and development, it also introduces much needed powers to control invasive non-native species in England and Wales. The measures provide government agencies in England and Wales with powers to enter into control agreements and, if necessary, control orders with landowners to ensure action can be taken against harmful species on their land. The measures follow similar provisions introduced in Scotland by the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011.

The full Act can be found here:

For more information on these provisions, please contact Craig Lee in Defra at

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