None of the key non-native alien species on the Kennet is easy to eradicate – but a good programme for control will target species preventing ‘good ecological status’ or causing deterioration.
American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)
Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)
Water fern (Azolla filiculoides)
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica)
New Zealand pygmy weed (Crassula helmsii)
Floating pennywort (Hydrocotyle ranunculoides)
American mink (Mustela vison)
The River Basin Management Plan
The River Basin Management Plan contains 25 generic measures relating to invasive non-native species.
There is still much work to be done in identifying lead responsibilities for alien species, and further research required on the eradication or management techniques for some of the more problematic species. Some of this work will be done at a national level, and the immediate priorities for the Kennet will be informed by developments in alien species policy and practice in the next year or so.
Actions which may be relevant to the Kennet Catchment Plan area include:
- Providing advice and training on identification, control and disposal of invasive non-natives.
- Working with existing bodies to identify and eradicate non-native species.
- Developing an alien species action plan for the Kennet catchment.
- Working to achieve eradication and control within SSSI and Natura 2000 sites (on Kennet and Lambourn).
- Participating in a river-basin wide invasive non-native species forum.
- Undertaking further analyses to better elucidate the role of signal crayfish in ecological deterioration.
There are opportunities for working in partnership with other organisations in the delivery of these actions, particularly with delivery of advice and training to support ‘spotters’, and to physically help with control and eradication. This is happening in some areas already through the Wildlife Trusts.