Dealing with INNS

New Zealand pygmyweed by Trevor RenalsNew Zealand pygmyweed by Trevor Renals

Dealing with the effects of INNS - from flooding, to reducing biodiversity, to building repairs - costs the British economy an estimated £1.7billion every year. The additional cost to biodiversity is difficult to determine in monetary terms.

This cost will only increase if they continue to spread throughout the country. It's a constant war against the invaders, but we do have some defences at our disposal.

The Law

The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it an offence to plant, dump, 'or cause to spread into the wild' any species listed in Schedule 9 of the Act. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 offers another layer of protection, by classifying species like Japanese knotweed as controlled waste - this means the plant and soil it has been been in contact with must be disposed of in an apporved manner.

The European Water Framework Directive

This directive sets out the 'river basin approach' and covers not just the quality or wiver waters but also the ecosystems supporting the, It requires our rivers to reach 'good ecological status or potential' by 2027.

Some funding has been made available by Defra to help towards the good ecoogical status required, however, the continued involvement of local communities, individuals, businesses and landowners is crucial to win the war against INNS.

Water for Wildlife

For the last decade, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has been on the front line and through the Water for Wildlife project has tackled INNS, working to protect and restore wetland habitat and wildlife in Derbyshire's river catchments.

On a practical level, the alien species need to be recoded and where possible their spread halted, or even better, removed. Thanks to the involvedment of partner ogranisations like the National Park, the Trent Rivers Trust, local angling clubs and the invaluable help of volunteers, sites at risk can be monitored, cleared and protected.

We have been working to manage the invasive plant Himalayan Balsam both on our reserves and in the wider countryside, click here for a useful guide to managing this species.

Also check our our volunteering pages to see where your nearest Balsam bash is.

Local Action Group

The Trust and its partners have come together to form a Local Action Group. We organise work parties during the summer to control Himalayan balsam. If you would like to be involved or would like adivce on how to set up your own working parties please get in touch. If you are a landowner or manger we may be able to assist you in controlling INNS by providing training and/or access to equipment - please contact us for more information or click here.