North East Non Native Species

INNS strategy and action plan

What are invasive species –

  • An invasive species is an animal or plant outside their normal range which has a negative impact on native organisms or the environment.
  • Non native species are species that are found outside their normal range however they pose no threat.
A typical stand of Japanese Knotweed
Image © Acabashi; Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0; Source: Wikimedia Commons


What impact do invasive species have in the Northeast –

  • Invasive species can alter habitats and outcompete native animals for food and resources.
  • A particular species of concern in Northumberland is the endangered white clawed crayfish (WCC). The population is in decline due to the invasive American Signal Crayfish (ASC) which outcompetes WCC and is a carrier of the crayfish plague.
  • Aquatic alien invasive plants in Northumberland such as the Australian Swamp stonecrop, Canadian pondweed, Water fern and Floating pennywort can reduce the biodiversity of ponds by blanketing out other species.
  • Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed across the Tweed, have been an invasive species of concern as well as Himalayan balsam within the Till catchment area.
  • Within the Tyne, American mink are an invasive species of concern due to their negative impact on the native Water vole populations within the area.

What people can do to help –

Check, Clean, Dry –

  • INNS are hard to spot and easily spread on damp equipment and clothing, but you can help protect the environment and activities you enjoy by keeping your kit free from INNS.
  • Check your equipment, boat and clothing after leaving the water for INNS.
  • Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can and use hot water if possible.
  • Dry everything for as long as you can before using it elsewhere.

Be Plant Wise –

  • Plants are vital for improving air quality, boost health and wellbeing and mitigate climate change.
  • Know what to grow by choosing the right plants for your garden.
  • Stop the spread by preventing garden plants from growing or escaping into the wild.
  • Compost with care by disposing of plants, roots and seeds responsibly.

See it, Snap it, Send it –

  • See INNS out in the wild while bird watching or walking your dog. You can use iSpot or ID sheets to help.
  • Snap a picture of it so you can record your sighting.
  • Send the picture of your INNS to iRecord, iNaturalist or ERIC along with the date and geolocation.

Tweed forum -> action plan context –

  • The action plan focuses on freshwater and riparian species and aims to develop and maintain cost effective strategies to prevent, detect, control and eradicate specified INNS in the Northeast.
  • The main objectives are to:
    • Increase coordination of strategic approaches to INNS management in the Northeast.
    • Reduce the risk of the introduction and spread of freshwater INNS in the Northeast.
    • Establish surveillance of INNS and ensure rapid responses.
    • Strategic long term local control and eradication programmes.

Click the image below to download the INNS strategy and action plan

North East INNS app

As part of this project, a shiny app has been developed to provide you with information about invasive species that are present across the Northeast as well as those that might be appearing soon which we need to keep out.

You can use this app to have a look at the common and Latin names of the species present in the North East, as well as the environment they live and their invasive status. You can read their fact file detailing how and when they became invasive along with their main impacts to our ecosystems.

Why not have a look at our interactive map and investigate where these invasive species are present!