National Trust responds to Environmental Audit Committee findings

On the day of an EU vote on new proposals to tackle the problem of invasive non-native species at a continent-wide level, the Environmental Audit Committee is calling on the Government to revamp the system for controlling invasive species in England and Wales.

Its key recommendations are to work together more effectively, to do more work in identifying invasive species which pose a threat to the UK more quickly; and to introduce an early surveillance system which would then trigger action which would result in eradication.

Responding to the report, David Bullock, Head of Nature Conservation at the National Trust said: “Tackling invasive non-native species needs public agencies and voluntary organisations to work more effectively together, so we’re pleased this is a key recommendation from the Committee. But we also need agencies to be much more innovative in the way they detect and monitor threats. Better coordination and more effective detection will become even more important as climate change and globalisation add to the challenges the UK faces.”

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4 thoughts on “National Trust responds to Environmental Audit Committee findings

      • Thanks 🙂
        I do hope the NT bases any action on science. There is, for example, often a kneejerk reaction to destroy Himalayan balsam, before investigating the science and conducting a thorough ecosystem cost/benefit analysis. With climate change we have to accept that the species list left to the British Isles after the last Ice Age and separation from continental Europe should not be thought of as final.

      • Hi,

        Below is a response from Dr David Bullock, the National Trust’s Head of Nature Conservation:

        “Where possible we base our management of non-native invasive species on the evidence from scientific enquiry. However, we do not know if a species will become invasive, transforming habitats and ecosystems, so we have to use strong inference and expert judgement as well.

        “I agree that you need a good reason to invest resources in managing non-native species; their potential to be invasive must be carefully weighed up. And we know enough about the generic attributes of non-native species that can become invasive to make judgements about control and/or eradication. Sometimes we need to act very quickly without having the science to back up our actions.”

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