Invasive Non Native Species Surveyor

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Various locations across West, South and East Yorkshire

Volunteer • Part Time Volunteering Development Team

Sectors: conservation & wildlife, water & hydrology

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

Aliens are invading Yorkshire! Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are the second largest threat to global biodiversity (just below habitat loss) and all along Yorkshire’s waterways we can see the colonisation spreading year by year. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust are on the front line, battling the tide of INNS such as Himalayan balsam and Japanese knotweed. To win, we need volunteers to help us.

This year we’re taking the fight to them with a team of volunteer INNS surveyors, balsam bashers and INNS treatment experts. This team of volunteers will tell us where INNS are and help to treat them where it’s needed most urgently. This will make all the difference to turning the tide on INNS across the county.

Surveyors will help to identify where INNS are and aren’t on priority waterways. This will mean that teams know where treatment is needed and which areas should be treated first. The priority waterways we are targeting this year are the River Holme, River Colne, Mag Brook, Clifton Beck and Fenay Beck in West Yorkshire; Oldcoates Dyke in South Yorkshire and various sites in East Yorkshire. Volunteers will be allocated a waterway when they start their role. This is likely to be the one closest to where they live.

As an INNS survey volunteer you will first be invited to a training session which will cover:

  • Biosecurity
  • What INNS are and why they are important
  • INNS ID (how to identify Himalayan Balsam, Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed)
  • Recording method (either through smartphone or paper maps)
  • Yorkshire Wildlife Trust H+S processes including risk assessments and lone volunteering

You will then be allocated sections of your specific waterway to survey. These will be sections 2-5 miles in length and you will be provided with risk assessments and land owner consent details. After the survey you will upload your data onto the INNS Mapper databse.

For this role you need to:

  • Be able to walk long distances (2-5 miles) on uneven ground safely
  • Have access to a smartphone (or at least mobile and printer at home) to be able to access maps and contact volunteer manager during survey
  • Be able to identify key INNS (following training)
  • Understand basic biosecurity procedures (following training)
  • Be interested in INNS
  • Have a good eye for detail and the ability to record data accurately
  • Be able to work alone in isolated conditions and use own initiative
  • Be self-motivated

From this role you will:

  • Help stop the spread of invasive non-native species which are damaging local biodiversity
  • Gain identification experience of plant species
  • Gain experience of surveying on watercourses
  • Have the chance for quiet walks in Yorkshire countryside that may otherwise be inaccessible
  • Protect their local habitats for future generations
  • Be contributing to wider scientific study of INNS across the UK
  • Have access to specific INNS and biosecurity training as well as the wider Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Volunteer Training Programme which includes Task Day Leader and Event Day Leader training

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