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Travelling abroad? Remember to Check Clean Dry!

The annual Check Clean Dry border biosecurity campaign has begun, funded by the Aquatic Biosecurity Partnership. Posters and digital displays are on display at key ports across the country with links to mainland Europe, to remind water users travelling abroad this spring / summer to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species by following a good biosecurity routine. 

If you’re off in search of new waters this summer, remember to Check Clean Dry to make sure you don’t bring back more than you bargained for!

Over fifty different invasive non-native plants and animals from all over the world have been introduced accidentally to British lakes, rivers and other waterbodies. The number of new arrivals is increasing each year.

Invasive non-native species are one of the top drivers of global biodiversity loss and cause serious environmental problems here in Britain that can be irreversible – killing fish by spreading diseases and reducing the oxygen levels of the water, outcompeting other native wildlife for food and space, and damaging ecosystems. Invasive plants clog up waterways, making it hard to use them for recreation and increasing the risk of flooding. They can be tiny and hard to spot, and some can survive out of water for over two weeks in damp conditions. You could be spreading them on damp boats, clothing, and equipment without realising.

You can help protect the environment and activities you enjoy by remembering to Check Clean Dry your boat, clothing, and equipment when you leave the water. It’s even more important to do this if you’re taking your boat or kit abroad to make sure you don’t bring any plants or animals back with you. Make sure everything is clean and has been dried thoroughly before you use it again at home.

  • Check your equipment, boat, and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals, or plant material. Remove anything you find and leave it at the site.
  • Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to areas that are damp or hard to access. Use hot water if possible.
  • Dry everything for as long as you can before using elsewhere as some invasive plants and animals can survive for over two weeks in damp conditions.

Find out more about invasive non-native plants and animals and how you can help to stop the spread. Free Check Clean Dry awareness raising materials are available to help.