You may have heard of one or two 'alien' species which have arrived here and started causing trouble - probably the most well known of all is the infamous Japanese Knotweed, but not far behind it is the Signal Crayfish, which now lives in all sorts of rivers in the UK.
The more 'globalised' everything becomes, the more likely it is that plants and animals native to one part of the world will end up colonising elsewhere, often in places where there are no predators or natural controls for them.
There's now a set of really useful leaflets and videos available which show how water users (including us CAPpers) can help to avoid spreading these interlopers around between rivers. As they point out, it's in our own best interests as some non-native plants can clog rivers and make them difficult to paddle. We'll also be helping to protect our native species which are suffering due to competition from the non-native versions.
The main message is to:
Check - your kit when you get off the water and remove any bits of plant/seeds etc, If you find any hangers-on, leave them behind in the river they came from.
Clean - your kit, boat and clothing out with tap water in between trips,
Dry - everything (including your boat!) thoroughly between rivers
Please give these a read/listen if you have a minute - they offer some practical advice for how we can help and what to look out for: