Invasive non-native species (INNS)

A number of invasive non-native species (INNS) have become established in the UK. Biological invasions by INNS harm native species and habitats and can have economic impacts. Some of the most problematic species occur in and around water bodies and have been recorded within the Upper & Bedford Ouse catchment.

Aims & Objectives
The Upper & Bedford Ouse Local Action Group (LAG) aims to ‘develop and maintain cost-effective strategic approaches to prevent, detect, control and eradicate key INNS that occur in and around water bodies in the Upper & Bedford Ouse catchment.’

The five main objectives for effective and sustainable INNS management in the Upper & Bedford Ouse catchment are:

  • Monitor and survey the distribution of key INNS in the Upper & Bedford Ouse catchment, where feasible;
  • Develop a sustainable programme to tackle key INNS in Upper & Bedford Ouse catchment;
  • Work with partners and stakeholders to develop biosecurity actions which prevent the introduction, and further spread of INNS and diseases.
  • Build a strong network with other local action groups and catchment partnerships to support a coordinated approach to regional INNS & biosecurity action.
  • Act as an information and communication hub for INNS activity in the Upper & Bedford Ouse catchment, sharing with stakeholders up to date INNS data, information about national initiatives and best practice guidance.

Key INNS species are those causing significant issues within the Upper & Bedford Ouse Catchment, with a focus on species that occur in and around water bodies. The LAG will work to control the spread of these species including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Himalayan Balsam
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Floating Pennywort
  • Crassula
  • Mink
  • Giant Hogweed

The LAG will additionally monitor the occurrence of secondary watchlist species including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Signal Crayfish
  • Asian Hornet
  • Killer Shrimp
  • Small Balsam
  • Oak Processionary Moth


A brief summary of some interventions being explored

Himalayan Balsam removal on the River Flit – The River Flit Himalayan Balsam Project is an ongoing project which started in 2009 and is proving to be very successful. The success to date is largely due to the project tackling this invasive species from the most upstream point it occurs, greatly reducing the incidence of re-seeding in previously cleared areas. By working together with other local organisations and landowners the project has been able to cover 12.7km of the River Flit and tributaries plus 40.6ha of adjacent habitat comprising Flitwick Moor Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), three County Wildlife Sites (CWS) and three non-designated areas of woodland, field edges and ditches.

Himalayan Balsam removal at Clophill Lakes and the RIver Ivel Catchment– Funding from Anglian Water’s Invasive Species Fund through the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation is enabling us to carry out considerable work controlling Himalayan Balsam at Clophill Lakes and along the River Ivel from Langford to Blunham where it is abundant after years of neglect. Control measures involve a combination of volunteer tasks and contractor removal by hand.  Follow this link for more information about our Himalayan Blasam Project.

Mink Control – a number of partners are working with Waterlife Rcovery Trust on Mink control in Bedfordshire using smart raft technology.  Please visit the WaterLife Recovery Turst website for more details.