Jump to content

'Stop the spread of harmful plants and animals'


Featured Posts

PRESS RELEASE

 

24th May 2021

‘STOP THE SPREAD OF HARMFUL WATERWAY PLANTS AND ANIMALS’ – CANAL CHARITY LAUNCHES NEW CAMPAIGN

‘Please stop the spread of harmful waterway plants and animals’ – this is the plea from the Canal & River Trust charity as it launches a major new awareness campaign in support of National Invasive Species Week (24-30 May).

 

Non-native plants and animals can cause serious damage. They out-compete native wildlife, damage eco-systems and spread disease. They can also block waterways, forming a thick green carpet which restricts navigation, clogs up propellers and damages boats.

The Trust, a waterways and wellbeing charity which cares for 2,000 miles of waterways and 72 reservoirs, spends hundreds of thousands of pounds every year clearing away unwanted vegetation and managing these delicate eco systems.

To stop the spread, everyone who uses the waterways, either for work or leisure, is asked to follow DEFRA guidelines to  ‘check, clean and dry’ all their equipment and personal clothing every time they move between different stretches of a canal, river or lake.

To help explain this important message, the Trust has produced three videos, filmed in Cheshire, aimed at giving detailed top tips to waterway workers, boatyards and marinas, as well as leisure users, such as boaters, rowers, paddle boarders, canoeists, anglers and walkers.

Canal & River Trust ecologist Tom King [insert regional ecologist] said: “The covid lockdown has resulted in many people discovering the delights of our waterways. However, with this use comes the extra challenge of making sure the problem of invasive species doesn’t become an even bigger problem.

“Plants like floating pennywort or curly waterweed grow so quickly and thickly – up to 20cm a day – they block the water. This makes it hard for powered boats, sailing boats and even paddle sports to move. Himalayan balsam, Japanese knotweed and giant hogweed can take over riverbanks in the summer and crowd out other plants, often dying back in the autumn, leaving riverbanks bare and exposed to erosion and flooding.

“Underwater, North American signal crayfish, zander, sterlets, wels catfish and small invertebrates, like freshwater shrimp, zebra mussels and quagga mussels, can cause enormous damage to local biodiversity. The mussels grow inside pipes and water-cooled engines, which then results in big costs and inconvenience to clear them out.

“Quagga mussels have even been found in an isolated Anglian Water reservoir in Lincolnshire. The nearest other known place with quagga mussels is London - over 140 miles away. They must have hitch-hiked on a person, their equipment, tools or machinery. Some species can survive for up to a week in damp equipment.    

“Please come and enjoy our wonderful blue spaces, but do your bit to stop the spread of non-native plants and animals. Whether you’re a boater, angler, canoeist, paddle boarder or walker, please follow the three simple steps of ‘check, clean, dry’ every time you move between waterways.”

Find out more on the Canal & River Trust website about how you can stop the spread of invasive species: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-wildlife/wildlife-blogs-and-features/tackling-invasive-species.

There is also more information on the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat website, supported by DEFRA. http://www.nonnativespecies.org. #INNSweek.

ENDS

For further media requests please contact:

Lynn Pegler

m 07783 686246 e lynn.pegler@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They're ok with mink and terrapins then? :D 

 

Incidentally, saw our first Terrapin on Sunday on the Coventry, shell was a good 6 or 7 inches across, it was huge! Thought they were way smaller.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hudds Lad said:

They're ok with mink and terrapins then? :D 

 

Incidentally, saw our first Terrapin on Sunday on the Coventry, shell was a good 6 or 7 inches across, it was huge! Thought they were way smaller.

 

They can grow quite big, lady included to give an idea of scale.

 

26845993565_84f2e8b573_b.jpg

 

 "The red-eared slider is included in the list of the world's 100 most invasive species[5] published by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature."

 

 

In popular culture[edit]

Within the second volume of the Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the popular comic-book heroes were revealed as specimens of the red-eared slider. The popularity of the Turtles led to a craze for keeping them as pets in United Kingdom, with subsequent ecological havoc, as turtles were accidentally or deliberately released into the wild.[53]

 

Red-eared slider - Wikipedia

Edited by Ray T
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Hudds Lad said:

They're ok with mink and terrapins then? :D 

 

Incidentally, saw our first Terrapin on Sunday on the Coventry, shell was a good 6 or 7 inches across, it was huge! Thought they were way smaller.

When red-eared terrapins used to be sold s pets (I had one as a boy) they were indeed only about three inches long. But they do grow to a much larger size during what I assume is a long life - 30 years or so. We have one, imaginatively nicknamed Terence, which clambers on to one of the tyres on our landing stage here in Upwell to bask in the warmth, when there is any. I'd guess its shell is about 9" in length.

 

As for mink, ladies were discouraged from wearing mink coats and stoles a good 30 years ago. Perhaps they should now be urged to order new ones. 

Edited by Athy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a bit about this in the latest  'Boaters' Update' which I received by email on Friday evening. In it we are asked to clean and wash down and dry parts of our boats as we go from one waterway to another including the fenders, propeller (!) and the 'lip' round the boat.

I've emailed Damien to ask about the 'lip' as I don't want to leave it out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found this advice to clean the hull of the boat puzzling because the water in which it sits will move between the waterways.  Also the advice to pressure wash the baseplate when the boat is out of the water will not be possible in some dry docks.  I thought it was written by someone who didn't know much about our boats/boating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Many years ago when I used to dinghy race I often travelled to "open meetings," where you raced in organised events at sea or on other reservoirs / lakes.

 

I cannot remember the issue exactly but on travelling to other reservoirs / lakes, the boat, equipment, launching trolley and sailing clothing had to be disinfected before being allowed to race, also when returning to your home sailing club.

 

It is a lot easier the disinfect a 16' racing dinghy that it is a narrow boat. :captain:

 

 

Edited by Ray T
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly.  I doubt CRT and other inland navigation authorities will be keen to install boat cleaning facilities at every junction.  Inside Preston Brook tunnel springs to mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I read this in the Boaters Update I assumed the bit about cleaning boats was aimed at boats being moved by land from one waterway to another. I know that boats being launched for use in the Forth and Clyde or Union canals had to be pressure washed and they hulls inspected before they could be launched.  I am sure it is not meant to include boats moving by water from one  waterway to another. 

I could be wrong, of course. I often am ? 

 

haggis

Edited by haggis
A missing G
  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Blue Green are suggesting we wash and dry our fenders, chains and poles, they don't mention the boat. Are they in the same world as us. on FB at https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenBlue/posts/4354441904567385

 

I see the RYA name and it amazes me that they think they speak for canal boats. I always thought their area was sea going boats and then they popped up here in Scotland telling us that they represented canal boats.  When they respond to any consultations it is obvious that they are only looking at things from a sea going perspective . 

Washing and cleaning equipment when going by road from one waterway to another makes sense but from this video they seem to think we should do it all the time. I am aware of boats coming from down south to the Scottish canals which were covered in nasties which had to be removed before launch 

 

haggis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The potential problems caused by mink pale into insignificance compared to the otter, as magnificent as they are their habitat has changed and declined and is unable to support them. They have already emptied many fisheries and i'd imagine waterfowl will also suffer as the fish disappear.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, haggis said:

I see the RYA name and it amazes me that they think they speak for canal boats.

 

The RYA have a specific section (division ?) looking after inland waterways and their boats.

It always amazes me that inland waterway users cannot get beyond the "they are only interested in seagoing million pound sailing yachts" thought process.

 

For example :

The RYA runs the Inland waterways courses (Inland Helmsman , diesel engines, boat plumbing etc etc)

 

Narrowboat Skills Centre Boat / Sailing Instructor in Leicester, UK (nbsc.org.uk)

 

inland-waterways (rya.org.uk)

 

 

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

The RYA have a specific section (division ?) looking after inland waterways and their boats.

It always amazes me that inland waterway users cannot get beyond the "they are only interested in seagoing million pound sailing yachts" thought process.

Nothing to stop the RYA expressing views on inland waterway matters, but in what sense are they representative? How many inland waterway based RYA members are there, and how does that compare with membership of other inland waterway based organisations?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very simple solution is to turn all the old inter canal company stop locks into drive through sanitation and boat cleaning areas.

"Disinfeckshun Across the Nashun"...will provide a focus for local tourist interest where you can see wildlife from across the globe hacked off boats as they cross each great divide.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Nothing to stop the RYA expressing views on inland waterway matters, but in what sense are they representative? How many inland waterway based RYA members are there, and how does that compare with membership of other inland waterway based organisations?

They claim to represent inland waterways boaters but I see little evidence that they actually do. I should imagine the number of canal boaters who are actually RYA members s quite small and having read a few of their responses to consultations they seem to base their response on the effect on sea going boaters and not inland waterways boaters. I am sure if you asked inland waterways boaters who they thought represented them that the RYA wouldn't be mentioned. I think their name is a bit of a give away ? . 

 

haggis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, haggis said:

I am sure if you asked inland waterways boaters who they thought represented them that the RYA wouldn't be mentioned. I think their name is a bit of a give away

 

That is exactly the problem, they are not perceived as representing inland waterway users, so they do not have many join, so they do not see the inland waterway problems, so they do not represent the inland waterways boaters.

 

It doesn't have to be the RYA but a single representative organisation would wield great power (as the RYA do worldwide on lumpy-water matters) but unfortunately the Inland waterways organisations (and boaters) are too busy fighting amongst themselves as small 'tribes' so it will never happen and C&RT (or their replacement) will continue to walk all over them.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, haggis said:

They claim to represent inland waterways boaters but I see little evidence that they actually do. I should imagine the number of canal boaters who are actually RYA members s quite small and having read a few of their responses to consultations they seem to base their response on the effect on sea going boaters and not inland waterways boaters. I am sure if you asked inland waterways boaters who they thought represented them that the RYA wouldn't be mentioned. I think their name is a bit of a give away ? . 

 

haggis

Don't disagree. But I suspect the proportion of inland boat owners who might mention IWA, NABO, RBOA, or even the baton twirlers would be similarly low.

  • Greenie 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I think it sums it up quite well their understanding of Narrowboats when they think that washing fenders, chains, poles and debris from the weed hatch will prevent moving invasive species across waterways when they are attached to about 500 square feet of steel that is always in the water. Isn't the saying something about seeing the elephant in the room?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, matty40s said:

Very simple solution is to turn all the old inter canal company stop locks into drive through sanitation and boat cleaning areas.

"Disinfeckshun Across the Nashun"...will provide a focus for local tourist interest where you can see wildlife from across the globe hacked off boats as they cross each great divide.

If they filled the stop locks with disinfectant they could be like the foot baths between the showers and the municipal swimming pool.

 

46 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

Well I think it sums it up quite well their understanding of Narrowboats when they think that washing fenders, chains, poles and debris from the weed hatch will prevent moving invasive species across waterways when they are attached to about 500 square feet of steel that is always in the water. Isn't the saying something about seeing the elephant in the room?

Don't bring this to CaRT's attention. Their solution would be to stop boats moving at all. Some would suggest this is already the policy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Lady C said:

I suspect part of this is that the government think RYA represent inland boaters.

Yes, I think you are right. The RYA probably told the Government  that they represented inland waterways boaters and because they are a "big name " they were believed. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, BWM said:

The potential problems caused by mink pale into insignificance compared to the otter, as magnificent as they are their habitat has changed and declined and is unable to support them. They have already emptied many fisheries and i'd imagine waterfowl will also suffer as the fish disappear.

In which case the mink will disappear then and the rest will recover, predator populations can only mirror prey population 

 

Commercial fisheries are a different issue as they are stocked to the gills and artificially maintained, anyone who owns and runs one has a responsibility to protect their assets by excluding the predators if they wish but as they are basically providing a fast food outlet for predators it's no great surprise they become a target

  • Greenie 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

If they filled the stop locks with disinfectant they could be like the foot baths between the showers and the municipal swimming pool.

 

Good idea. And as you leave the stop lock, a warning note:

No running

No bombing

No petting

  • Greenie 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, tree monkey said:

In which case the mink will disappear then and the rest will recover, predator populations can only mirror prey population 

 

Commercial fisheries are a different issue as they are stocked to the gills and artificially maintained, anyone who owns and runs one has a responsibility to protect their assets by excluding the predators if they wish but as they are basically providing a fast food outlet for predators it's no great surprise they become a target

Mink are much diminished from the numbers of the past, even though there may be a few locations where they are considered a problem. 

 Commercial fisheries have been erecting fencing to protect their stock but that is only part of the problem, crucian carp and wild carp are rare in their pure bred condition so otter predation is a real issue to these fragile populations - often in old estate lakes, mill pools and the like which are near impossible to protect. Many of our rivers no longer support viable spawning grounds, due to abstraction, agricultural run off and sewage release - hence the increase in record fish sizes from the 80's onwards. 

 The otter was traditionally (not exclusively) associated with the trout and salmon rivers and few of these have the runs of spawning fish that were their main target in the past. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.