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Bude Canal Zebra mussel Workshop

20th May 2021

Bude canal is a unique historical feature in Cornwall and is a much valued asset by locals and visitors. It is a haven for wildlife and supports a range of recreational activities and businesses.

There is, however, a threat to the canal and that is the presence of Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). Zebra mussels are a priority invasive non-native species which can have negative impacts on wildlife and the economy. Zebra mussels can accidentally be spread by recreational activities in the water and there is a concern that they could be introduced to other sites such as the Tamar Lakes.

Once established in these reservoirs there is no way to eradicate them, which would result in long term management costs for preventing this invasive species spreading and affecting drinking water supply.

South West Water has a commitment to investigate the management options of Zebra mussels at Bude canal and is working with mussel specialist Dr David Aldridge, Cornwall Council, Cormac and the Community Invasive Non-Native Group (CINNG).

We would like to invite you to workshop to review the problem and discuss the management options. We are hoping a wide range of stakeholders will attend to determine an acceptable way forward for all. It has been an extraordinary year and following the release of lockdowns there has been a huge influx of visitors to many sites in Cornwall.

The risk of spreading Zebra mussels is greatly increased and it has never been more timely to review biosecurity measures and ways to prevent the spread of these problematic and highly invasive species.

The workshop is being held on Wednesday 26 May during Invasive Species Week (Monday 24 to Sunday 30 May), an initiative led by the GB Non-Native Species Secretariat.

 

Workshop programme

9.30 – 9.45am         Welcome, introductions and aims of the workshop, Kate Hills, South West Water Biosecurity and Invasives Manager

9.45 – 10.15am       Why Zebra mussels are a problem and the management options for Bude canal, Dr David Aldridge, Cambridge Environmental Consulting

10.15 – 10.25am     Pit stop and tea break

10.25 – 11.15am     Group discussion on options, concerns and priorities

11.15 – 11.30am     Summary of discussions and next steps forward.

For further information please contact:

To join the workshop contact khills@southwestwater.co.uk