A campaign is being launched to help protect the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads from 'destructive' invasive species such as killer shrimp, quagga mussels and Japanese knotweed.
The species are a threat to native plants and animals and can block up our waterways.
It's believed that they cost the UK economy at least £1.8 billion a year and the Government are desperate to stop their spread.
Biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner will encourage young sailors at Oulton Broad near Lowestoft to check and clean their equipment during a visit on Friday (March 31) in a bid to get the message through to the next generation.
How can you help stop the spread?
- Make sure you are aware of some of the priority non-native species.
- Where possible posters and signage should be put in place to make people aware of the risk, and provide advice on how to prevent spread.
- Ideally, access and egress to the water body should be limited, preferably to a single point.
- Any site may have invasive non-native species and diseases that can be spread by contaminated clothes and equipment, so good biosecurity is always important. Remember: everyone, every time, everywhere.
- If you are visiting a site where an invasive non-native species is known to be present, you must ensure you don't spread it. Failure to do so risks prosecution under the Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981.
- Risk can be reduced by reducing the contact time in which equipment is exposed to the water.
- Anything that comes in contact with the water, including boots, could accidentally spread non-native species and should be carefully cleaned.