Skip to main content

The charity making life better by water

Canal and river invasive species

Not all the plants and animals living in our canals and rivers are native to the UK. Some species have been introduced, often with disastrous results for our precious ecosystems.

American Signal Crayfish coming out of water onto grass

Invasive species can have a devastating effect on native canal and river wildlife, as they compete against each other for food, space, sunlight and water. The animals can often be bigger and more aggressive, while the plants can choke canals and rivers with their rapid growth.

Learn more about the most common invasive species that pose a threat on our waterways.

The battle with invasive species

Our teams of ecologists and volunteers work tirelessly to eradicate invasive species from our canals and rivers. Find out more about some of the techniques used to combat these problematic plants and animals.

Last Edited: 15 August 2023

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration