Help stop the spread of invasive plants and animals in our waters!
Plants and animals from all over the world have been introduced to British waters by people, usually accidentally. These are known as non-native species. Most are harmless but some become invasive. Over fifty different invasive freshwater species have already been found in our lakes, rivers and other waters, and the number of new arrivals is increasing rapidly.
Invasive non-native species cause serious environmental problems that can be irreversible, and interfere with the activities you enjoy by clogging propellers, damaging boats, blocking up waterways making it hard to fish or use them for paddling, and increasing the risk of flooding.
Find out more about some of the invasive plants and animals in our waters.
What can I do to help?
Invasive species can be small and hard to spot so are easily spread on damp equipment and clothing. You can help protect the environment and activities you enjoy by keeping your kit free of invasive plants and animals, whenever you leave the water remember to:
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.
It's even more important if you're travelling abroad as you could accidentally bring back new invasive plants and animals. Make sure everything has been cleaned and dried thoroughly before using it again at home.
View detailed guidance and resources for you:
Check Clean Dry is a partnership campaign supported by many organisations. Find out more about our partners.
Since 2017 a group of water companies have been contributing to a project to improve aquatic biosecurity, including funding the Check Clean Dry campaign. Find out more about the Aquatic Biosecurity Partnership.