Part of a DEFRA agency, the Secretariat is responsible for spreading the message about the harm non-native plants can cause if they get into the wild. It helped create the Be Plant Wise campaign to tackle the issue of aquatic plants invading the countryside.
The Secretariat is now writing to all shop-owners who previously asked for campaign materials to say thank you for supporting the fight to raise awareness of the problem.
Dr Niall Moore of the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat said: “We wanted to say thank you to the businesses that have been in touch with us to ask for our shop display materials. Without their support it would be a lot harder to raise the public’s awareness about this issue. By making their staff and customers aware of how important it is to responsibly manage aquatic plants, they’ve all helped to prevent the spread of invasive non-native species into our natural environment.”
Chief executive of the Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) Keith Davenport added: “Many of these [people supporting the campaign] will be OATA members and it’s always pleasing when a government body takes the time to acknowledge and say thank you for the help that busy retailers are playing in tackling this important issue.
“Hopefully warmer weather is just round the corner which will bring more customers into shops wanting to spruce up their ponds with new purchases. So it’s a great time to carry on spreading the message and we hope all shops selling aquatic plants and fish will be ordering their free Be Plant Wise shop display items to continue to hammer home the message.”
Retailers can order a free Be Plant Wise display kit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Image: New Zealand Pigmyweed, courtesy of GB Non-Native Species Secretariat.