Invasive species cost the UK economy approximately £1.7 billion per annum to control or plan for (CABI, 2010). This figure, whilst carefully calculated, is predicted to be significantly less than the full economic cost as it cannot take into account and quantify many indirect costs resulting from infestations of invasive non-native species, such as the damage to ecosystem services and loss of biodiversity.
Agriculture and horticulture bear just under two thirds of this £1.7 billon cost, with construction, development and infrastructure sectors having the second highest direct cost at approximately £212 million for Great Britain. Invasive non-native plant species inflict the highest costs to the British economy, with Japanese Knotweed being the most costly species. More information and statistics on the costs of invasive non-native species to the British economy can be found here.
Emily Fisher, an undergraduate student from Manchester Metropolitan University is undertaking research on the costs of invasive species to businesses, farmers and communities in the Bollin Catchment, and also which invasive species are perceived to pose the greatest threat. She is undertaking surveys, interviews and distributing questionnaires. The results of this research will be very useful for BEACON in seeing how the local community views invasive non-native species, and where BEACON could help deliver cost savings or efficiencies.
To complete a questionnaire, which will contribute to this important research, please click here.