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What is Biosecurity?

Biosecurity is a set of control, preventive and eradication measures designed to reduce the risk and environmental damage of invasive non native species (INNS), infectious diseases, and other living modified organisms.

The Scottish Invasive Species Initiative

Between 2018 and 2021 the Scottish Invasive Species Initiative (SISI), aims to tackle some of the most vigorous non-native species such as Giant Hogweed, Japanese Knotweed, Himalayan Balsam, and American Mink that are present across Deveronside and the northeast of Scotland.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage, the SISI project, will be a partnership project working across 10 Rivers Trusts/Boards and the University of Aberdeen, to combat invasive species in an area of roughly 29 500km2.

Invasive non-native species damage the natural environment by out-competing (or eating) native species which then leads to a poorer quality environment. The goal of the SISI project is to remove these invaders and allow native species to thrive again. Consequently, we would like your assistance to make this project a success.

If you’ve seen any of these species, you’re interested in helping to control or remove these species, or would just like to find out more about the project, please send Al Reeve an email on or call the Deveron Rivers Trust office on 01466 711 388.

What are Invasive Non Native Species?

Invasive non native species (INNS) are any non-native animal or plant that has the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.

Non-native species have long been introduced and used as ornamental plants or pets and only a small minority of them are or will become invasive (SNH, 2000). However, the threat from invasive species is growing at an increasing rate assisted by climate change, pollution and habitat disturbance. They are now recognised as the greatest threat to biodiversity next to habitat destruction and they threaten our native plants, animals and habitats.Globally, INNS have contributed to 40% of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years (CBD, 2006). Many countries including Scotland are now facing complex and costly problems associated with invasive species.


  • INNS have contributed to 40% of the animal extinctions that have occurred in the last 400 years (CBD, 2006).
  • INNS and fish diseases damage our environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.
  • They already cost the Scottish economy, and therefore us, upwards of £500 million per year and the UK economy £2-£6 billion per year.
  • A Scottish Government report estimated the potential Net Economic Value loss to Scotland of the introduction of the salmon parasite Gyrodactylus salaris at £633 million with severe consequences for rural communities.
  • In the UK, Japanese Knotweed is thought to affect an area roughly the size of London and Defra has estimated the total cost of its removal using current techniques at £1.56bn.
  • £25 million is the estimated cost of clearing the invasive Rhododendron ponticum from the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
  • If nothing is done the costs to our environment, economy and health will only increase.


Read more about the hidden costs of invasive species in this Geographical article.