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RAPID Life project

A holistic approach to Invasive Alien Species management in freshwater aquatic, riparian and coastal ecosystems across England

Globally, invasive species are considered to be one of the most significant causes of biodiversity loss, second only to habitat destruction. The economic impacts are also severe, with an estimated annual cost of at least 12 billion euros across Europe including a cost of 1.7 billion pounds to the British economy. Freshwater and marine habitats are particularly vulnerable because of interconnectivity and widespread use for recreation and business.

RAPID LIFE was a three-year LIFE project (2017-2020) that piloted innovative approaches to IAS management in freshwater aquatic, riparian and coastal environments across England. The project had two strands: one strand engaged regional stakeholders in the production and implementation of five Regional IAS Management Plans (RIMPs) delivering consistent, regionally tailored prevention, early warning, rapid response, eradication and control of IAS throughout England. A second phase produced awareness raising materials and training toolkits for water resource managers and user groups along with materials to improve uptake of biosecurity to slow the spread and prevent introduction of new IAS in regions.

For further information contact Alexia Fish at Alexia.Fish@apha.gov.uk


Layman's Reports

View the layman's report summarising what took place during the project:

A comprehensive technical report will also be available in the near future.

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the RAPID LIFE project was to:

Protect freshwater aquatic, riparian and coastal biodiversity by embedding a coordinated, strategic and evidence-based approach to managing Invasive Alien Species (IAS) across England whilst demonstrating the efficacy of this approach for replication across Europe.

Specific objectives were:

  1. Establish a regionally-based framework across England to deliver more effective management based on Regional IAS Management Plans.
  2. Prevent the introduction of novel IAS to the project’s target environments by increasing biosecurity awareness amongst target audiences through a coordinated programme of engagement.
  3. Increase awareness and efficacy of GB-level and local-level early warning and rapid response systems and protocols within England.
  4. Eradicate and/or control established IAS in high-priority areas whilst demonstrating strategic and best practice approaches.
  5. Disseminate the exemplar approach throughout European and international networks.

View the RAPID LIFE Project Leaflet (PDF)

Newsletters from the RAPID LIFE project

RAPID Life and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you have participated in a RAPID Life survey (for example at a RAPID Life workshop), and you want to know more about your data protection rights, please have a read of our Privacy Notice (PDF).

The only personal data that was collected by the RAPID LIFE project were names and email addresses of survey participants, and this was only be collected with the informed consent of the participants.  This data will not be shared outside of the RAPID LIFE project. This data will be kept separately to all survey responses, so that all survey responses are anonymised. Participants also have the right to withdraw their consent at any time by contacting RAPID LIFE staff (see our contacts page).

Personal data, in the form of names and email addresses, was only collected by RAPID LIFE in order to be able to conduct follow-up surveys. These are being conducted to measure and monitor changes in awareness of invasive non-native species. This will help to inform future education and awareness-raising campaigns.

View a list of your rights (external link) under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018).

The Animal and Plant Health Agency's Personal Information Charter contains a full description of how your rights are upheld and made accessible by the Agency, and includes a full range of contact details. View the charter (external link).

For more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

RAPID LIFE was a European Union funded project led by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in partnership with Natural England and Bristol Zoological Society and supported by a number of further technical partners.