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Invasive non-native species harm the environment and wildlife, are costly to the economy, and can even pose a risk to our health and way of life.

During Invasive Species Week, 13-17 May, organisations across the UK, Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man worked together to raise awareness and ask everyone to help prevent their spread to protect the environment and recreational spaces for future generations to enjoy.

Learn more about invasive species and their impacts with our interactive StoryMap. And read our members' blogs, published throughout the week, on how invasive species affect these different native habitats: Freshwater and riparian; Urban; Marine; Woodland and bogs; Islands.

On Tuesday 14 May, Wildlife and Countryside Link hosted a debate in Parliament on 'Brexit and Invasive Species: Responding to an intensifying environmental threat.' MPs, Peers, Government officials and other stakeholders joined us for a panel in which we explored how the UK should manage the threat of invasive species after Brexit, what governance mechanisms are needed and how they should be implemented. We heard from the following speakers, followed by a Q&A:

  • Lord Gardiner of Kimble: Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, with responsibility for invasive non-native species.
  • Professor Helen Roy: Ecologist and Group Leader on invasive species at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Visiting Professor at the University of Reading, and Chair of the Citizens Sciences Investigate on alien species.
  • Lord Teverson: Chair of the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee (which in October 2018 published its report on ‘Brexit: Plant and Animal Biosecurity’).
  • Paul Walton (Chair): Head of Habitats and Species for RSPB Scotland, and Chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link Invasive Non-Native Species Working Group.

Become a WCL member

Membership of Wildlife and Countryside Link is open to national and international voluntary or other non-profit organisations based in England. Member organisations must be able to demonstrate an interest in furthering the work of Link, and their aims must include the protection of wildlife, landscape and the quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the countryside. Individual members of the public are not eligible to join Link, but may be interested in joining one of Link's member organisations.