Biosecurity course aims to halt spread of non-native invasive species
20 June 2017
Aquatic weeds restrict access to amenity areas
The need for biosecurity (procedures that protect against harmful biological agents) has become a key issue in recent years. The ruthless spread of invasive alien species throughout Ireland can only be halted by consistent implementation of best-practice biosecurity measures.
With this in mind, Envirico has joined forces with land-based training and awarding body LANTRA to offer a certified award in ‘Biosecurity – Halting the Spread of Non-Native Invasive Species’, which has been designed to meet the needs of engineers and others moving personnel and equipment from site to site.
Dr Amanda Greer, Envirico’s environmental project manager and co-author of Common Invasive Species in Ireland, explains what the course will offer. “This course will give training in how to identify the most commonly encountered invasive species and what to do and, equally as important, what not to do when you find them,” she said.
“Up to date, best-practice biosecurity procedures for terrestrial and freshwater species will be covered and award holders can provide an extra level of assurance to employers and contractors that they will not contaminate a site by introducing unwanted species.”
Envirico is an ecological company that specialise in providing biosecurity protocols and management plans for invasive alien species, and in effective treatment and control of the same.
Japanese knotweed and other invasive alien species
Invasive alien species are a huge cause for concern in Ireland. Conservative estimates put their cost to the Republic of Ireland’s economy at >€200 million a year. They threaten our native biodiversity, and many increase flood risk and block access to treasured amenities.
Of course, some are nastier than others. Japanese knotweed is perhaps the best known and most feared, and has been called, rather dramatically, ‘The Plant That Ate Britain’.
Having evolved on volcanic slopes in Japan, the key strength of Japanese knotweed is its ability to survive underground, and then to force its way up through feet of ash or even hardened lava.
These features, adaptive on volcanoes in Japan, are causing havoc in the Irish built environment as Japanese knotweed can push up through asphalt, grow out through walls and even damage the footings and foundations of houses. Coupled with an alarming growth rate and ability to spread, Japanese knotweed is most unwelcome on any development site.
Other invasive species with particularly noxious attributes include:
- Giant hogweed, which exudes a sap that can result in massive blistering and causes skin to become reactive to sunlight for up to seven years;
- Zebra mussels, which clog up water intake pipes; and
- African curlyweed, an aquatic invasive plant that grows so prolifically that for years it blocked fishermen from accessing much of Lough Corrib.
For further enquiries or to pre-book a place on the course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 056-7801277. The course will run from September 2017 onwards.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2017/06/20/biosecurity-course-halt-non-native-invasive-species/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Aquatic-weeds-restrict-access-to-amenity-areas.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Aquatic-weeds-restrict-access-to-amenity-areas-300x300.jpgSponsored