Invasive Species Surveys

An invasive species is any kind of plant, animal or organism which is not native to a particular area or country. Invasive non-native species (INNS) including Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam, topmouth gudgeon and Asian clam have the ability to spread rapidly, dominating an ecosystem and causing adverse ecological, environmental and economic impacts. 

It is estimated that a staggering £1.8 billion is spent annually to control the spread of INNS in the UK. At FiveRivers, our experienced ecologists are able to ascertain the presence and distribution of INNS through targeted surveys, walkovers, eDNA and remote sensing. Proactive knowledge of INNS is crucial in determining scheme designs, environmental permitting, working methods and appropriate mitigation to prevent their spread and avoid potential prosecution. 

A member of FiveRivers' team during an invasive species survey
The Problems

Habitat Degradation

The impact INNS have on British landscapes and wildlife populations include the degradation of habitat, increased competition for limited resources (such as food and water) and, ultimately, the extinction of native plants and animals. Additionally, it is possible for invasive species to impact human health by introducing new diseases or allergens.  

 Preventing further introduction and spread of INNS is vital if we are to protect our environment. It is also a legal requirement: the prevention of their spread is regulated through the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), which makes it an offence to allow invasive plants to spread from your site, or to release or allow invasive animals to escape into the wild. 


FiveRivers’ ecologist gathering data during an invasive species survey
The Solutions

Identification and Survey

At FiveRivers, our experts are experienced in the identification and survey of INNS, with a particular specialism in freshwater fish, macroinvertebrates and plants. Each species and site require a bespoke approach, with a tailored combination of survey methods which we will be happy to advise you on.  

 Survey methods include baited traps, netting, electric fishing, colonisation traps, walkover surveys, snorkel surveys, plant surveys using grapple, hydroacoustic assessments, eDNA, remote sensing using aerial imagery and artificial intelligence technology. 

 We can also advise on management of INNS and biosecurity protocols to mitigate the risks of new species entering a site. 

Tom Grayling - Director of Monitoring and Natural Capital at FiveRivers (5R)

Contact us

Talk to an expert in Invasive Species Surveys

Tom Grayling

Director of Monitoring & Natural Capital

Get in touch by either phone or email to speak with Martin and discuss your needs. Alternatively click the button below to complete our contact form.