As this is a county-wide, multi-catchment Initiative, we need local knowledge from local people. Your help is invaluable so if you are interested in any of the below, please contact us for more information.


There are a number of volunteer groups working around the county, helping to control INNS such as Himalayan balsam and American skunk cabbage. The Rivers Trusts (West Cumbria, South Cumbria, Eden and Lune) help to organise work parties for the public, interest groups and organisations and would love your help! For more information about volunteering – visit their websites:


Report an Invasive Non Native Species

We need to know sites that have been invaded. We have a number of identification sheets available and if you come across any of these, please let us know! If you think you have found an invasive non-native species, follow these three steps:

1) Check the identification sheets to help you correctly ID what you have found (if you would like confirmation, contact the coordinator)

2) Be aware of biosecurity- do not move it.

3) Report it to– Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre, Tullie House Museum, Castle Street, Carlisle. CA3 8TP. E: t: 01228 618717.

There are national recording databases which you are also encouraged to use. RISC is a new project which encourages the public to record four high priority freshwater invasive non-native species (American skunk cabbage, Chinese mitten crab, Zebra mussel and Water Primrose).

If you have a smartphone- there is an app you can download called PlantTracker. This free App shows you how to identify each species and enables you to easily submit geo-located photos wherever you find one. The app features 14 invasive plant species and also includes a ‘confusion species’ gallery for each one, helping you separate some of the similar looking plants you may encounter.

Be Biosecure

Being aware of invasive non-native species and the simple actions you can carry out to prevent their spread and introduction is one of the most important things you can do. To read more about how to be biosecure… go to the biosecurity webpage

Attend an identification and biosecurity workshop

The Initiative regularly runs training workshops for those interested in learning more about identification of freshwater invasive non-native species. Visit the identification training workshop page