Invasive species impairing the natural habitat is a big problem in Snowdonia. Now you can help us by submitting sightings of invasive species you come across by a touch of a button!
By assisting us in locating invasive species, you will be playing an important role in shaping our management plans for the future of the Snowdonia National Park. We appreciate any sightings of the invasive species we are currently focusing on. After sightings are gathered we will then be able to put forward effective methods of control in order to maintain the natural beauty of Snowdonia.
Don’t hesitate; you have an important role to play!
You can submit records on our section of the Cofnod website here.
Definition of Invasive Species
Native plants form communities where the various plants (and associated animals and fungi) have been together for long enough for there to be a balance in the way they compete with each other. If a plant from a different part of the world is introduced, the balance can be upset. These introduced plants have several potential advantages. They may well have arrived without the predators and diseases that keep them in check in their native range. They may possess some special features of metabolism or dispersal that is not possessed by the local plants. If so, they have a competitive advantage and can rapidly colonise large areas.
Why are invasive plants a problem?
Non-native invasive plants are a huge problem across the globe. They are a major cause of extinctions and degradation of habitats. In places like Hawaii, much of the native vegetation has been displaced. Not only do the native plants disappear but also the animals that have evolved to live with them.
The British Isles has escaped relatively lightly, although over a thousand non-native plants have become established in the wild, only a small number have so far become invasive. Many of the introduced species come from warmer parts of the world and grow with reduced vigour in the cooler British climate may reduce their vigour. Also, Britain is a densely populated country. Most of the land farmed intensively. Few species can establish and become invasive in this type of landscape. With the expected temperature rises due to Climate Change, invasive species may well become more of a problem.
Role of the National Park
National parks were set up with the purpose of conserving and enhancing natural heritage. The Snowdonia National Park Authority has been taking action against invasive species for over thirty years. We have organised meetings and conferences, giving grants and undertaking control in our own woodlands. The focus so far has been on Rhododendron control as this is regarded as the biggest threat.
Rhododendron in Snowdonia Strategy of 2009
Rhododendron Strategy (pdf)
We are now co-working with COBWEB in developing a mobile app that the public can use in locating Japanese Knotweed in Snowdonia. By assisting us in submitting sightings of the Knotweed we can put forward an effective management plan that will mean controlling the invasive specie in future.
We are also encouraging the public to record sightings of Invasive Species within the National Park boundaries by following the link below to our designated Cofnod site.
Remember to keep a look out for volunteer days with other people that are passionate about safeguarding Snowdonia's natural beauty.