The Big Dee Day - the Invasion
Organisations across North Wales and Cheshire are appealing for volunteers to
help tackle invasive non-native species on the River Dee and its tributaries.
Following two successful years of The Big Dee Day – The Invasion, the event is
being repeated again this summer.
The previous two years have seen up to 60 events and nearly 2,000 volunteer
hours put towards tackling invasive non-native species like Himalayan balsam,
Japanese knotweed and Giant Hogweed.
A coordinated programme of volunteer activities is taking place this month with
various opportunities for people to get involved, from the river’s source in
Snowdonia National Park right through to the Dee estuary, until August.
The event is open to everyone across the region to help remove invasive
non-native plants from the River Dee and its tributaries and to record infested
areas. The species that will be tackled are alien species, brought to the UK
either accidentally or intentionally, which can cause big problems for native
wildlife, as well as having other effects, such as making river banks more
prone to erosion and increasing the risk of flooding.
A partnership of Welsh and English organisations including five local authority
Countryside Services, Snowdonia National Park Authority, DINNS Project, Keep
Wales Tidy, the Welsh Dee Trust, BASC, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB
are involved in organising the event and it is funded by Natural Resources
Councillor Bernie Attridge, Flintshire County Councils Cabinet Member for
“Big Dee Day - The Invasion is growing year on year and is proving to be a
great opportunity for us to make a positive impact on the River Dee and our
local environment. Our thanks go to all those volunteers who have helped out
over the last two years, and I’d encourage anyone who is interested to get
involved and go along to their nearest event and help out.
In Flintshire, Flintshire County Council, NEWW Wildlife and North Wales
Wildlife Trust will be teaming up and leading volunteers on the River Alyn on
Tuesday 23 June, Thursday 25 June, Thursday 2 July and Thursday 16 July.”
Meryl Norris, Dee Invasive Non-Native Species Project Officer said: “The
volunteer effort from the previous two years has made the event a real
success. The various ‘balsam bashes’ taking part across the catchment are a
great way to get out to some beautiful riverside locations and help tackle an
important issue for conservation.
If you or your group would like to get stuck in with balsam bashing or knotweed
whacking, or if you fancy spying on the alien invaders and recording their
locations contact your local contact below for more information about events
happening in your area or check out www.facebook.com/BigDeeDayTheInvasion or
Snowdonia National Park
Denbighshire/Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB
Notes to editors:
You are invited to send a reporter and photographer to Rhug Farm in Corwen
(LL21 0EH) for the official launch of Big Dee Day – the Invasion at 1 pm on
Friday 26 June with staff, dignitaries and volunteers.
Contact email@example.com 078 80197942 for more information.
Meryl Norris (Dee INNS Project Officer, NWWT) demonstrating the stem injection
treatment to control Japanese Knotweed at Ty Mawr Country Park in Wrexham
during last years Big Dee Day - The Invasion.
About the Big Dee Day The Invasion
The Big Dee Day The Invasion is a sister event to the Big Dee Day Clean Up
event that has been held since 2008. The Invasion event began in 2013, when it
was held over two days (28th & 29th June) and saw 17 events being held
throughout the catchment. These events predominantly consisted of Balsam
Bashing events – controlling the invasive plant Himalayan balsam. 2014 saw the
event expand over the month of July with 40 events putting in up to 1680
The Big Dee Day The Invasion Steering group consists of the following
organisations – Denbighshire CC, Flintshire CC, Wrexham CBC, Snowdonia National
Park Authority, DINNS Project, Keep Wales Tidy, the Welsh Dee Trust, Clwydian
Range and Dee Valley AONB, BASC and Natural Resources Wales.
Dee Invasive Non-Native Project
The Dee Invasive Non-Native Species Project is a cross border catchment wide
partnership project which aims to control invasive non-native species
throughout the Dee catchment in England and Wales in a co-ordinated and
holistic way. The project was initiated in 2012 following a workshop delivered
by the Welsh Dee Trust. Following the setting up of the project steering group
a strategic action plan was produced in 2013.
The project works closely with organisations and volunteer groups to ensure
they have the resources and knowledge to effectively control invasive
non-native species and to also enable them to raise awareness of invasive
non-native species and biosecurity.
DINNS Project officer: Meryl Norris firstname.lastname@example.org 078
Invasive non-native species
Invasive non-native species are species or animal or plant that have been
brought to the UK from other countries and are having a negative impact on our
environment, economy and well-being. These species cost the UK economy more
that £1.7 billion pounds per year and are the second biggest threat to
biodiversity globally. Species such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed
increase erosion and impact on flooding; Giant hogweed contain sap which causes
severe burns to skin upon contact; American mink have caused a sharp decline in
our native Water vole populations leading to local extinctions; American Signal
Crayfish carry Crayfish plague which kills our native White Clawed Crayfish and
has led to dramatic declines in their population in the UK.