Protecting our fresh waters from Invasive None Native Species (INNS) is something that we must all address as a collective responsibility, so we are able to continue using lakes and rivers for leisure pursuits. Freshwater INNS are able to ‘hitchhike’ on our equipment, footwear and clothing. When we move to a new river, tarn or lake, a species may be transferred and may become established, often having devastating effects.
As event organisers, it is essential that we partner in helping to protect Cumbria and other regions. Given the devastating ecological consequences and high costs for control, the emphasis needs to be on preventing the introduction and spread of invasive species through biosecurity measures before they become established.
Swimming and triathlon events present a serious risk of introducing INNS to feshwater lakes and rivers. Biosecurity measures and very simple and inexpensive and through promoting them, you will protect our incredible freshwaters which we all love to spend time in.
- Your wetsuit and other kit should be clean and dry when you arrive at the event venue. Check for any weeds or plants and remove.
- After the event, clean and check your kit and ensure that any weeds or plants are removed. Use the facilities available at the event to wash your kit or wash thoroughly when you get home and allow to dry before checking again!
- Drying is particularly important as invasive species can live for up to 2 weeks in damp conditions.
We all love participating in open water swimming events and it’s our responsibility to protect the environment, so we can continue to enjoy for many years.
For more information visit the West Cumbria Rivers Trust website and the Non Native Species website.