Inspiring biosecurity best practice for waterway users  

5th January 2024 News

AQUA – Inspiring biosecurity best practice for waterway users

Invasive non-native species (INNS) threaten native biodiversity and cost the UK over £1.8 billion annually. Biosecurity is a recognised method to reduce the spread of INNS.

AQUA was a free regional pilot trial, set up by the Bristol Zoological Society, in conjunction with South West Water and the Animal and Plant Health Agency, a 3-year EU LIFE project designed to help reduce the spread of INNS within the UK. It’s now being rolled out by partners in Yorkshire, where organisations, clubs or sites can become accredited with a bronze, silver or gold AQUA award demonstrating that the respective organisation, club or site is taking extra steps to protect our water environment.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust can offer support to anybody interested in attaining an AQUA award. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust can also help with acquiring equipment necessary for implementing biosecurity measures. For more details or help please contact

AQUA aims:

  • Target waterbodies or sites open to waterway users
  • Help them increase their biosecurity efforts
  • To combat the threat of invasive species
  • To enable a ‘Rapid Response’ to new invasions
  • Participants can gain their AQUA accreditation award
  • Be recognised as a centre that is actively conserving their site
  • To maximise native aquatic and riparian diversity
  • Three levels of the award: bronze, silver and gold
  • Accreditation assessment by independent review panel

Himalayan balsam in flower

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