Invasive Species Week is an annual event led by the GB NNSS to raise awareness of invasive species and how everyone can help to prevent their spread. From May 24th to 30th, organizations across Ireland, the UK, Isle of Mann, Guernsey and Jersey will be coming together for a week of action to raise awareness and ask everyone to help prevent the spread of invasive species. 

Invasive Species Week 2021

The next Invasive Species Week will be held during the week beginning 24th May 2021.

Throughout the week lots of events and activities will be taking place that people can take part in online or socially distanced. We know that many have been finding solace in nature over the last year, and we will be sharing some simple tips to help you protect the environment.

For each day of the week, the National Biodiversity Data Centre will be following daily themes and posting on this website and through @BioDataCentre social media, information from Ireland and highlighting invasive species of concern here.

Follow along at @InvasiveSp (external link) and #INNSweek. In Ireland you can also use #ReportInvasives to add your message to previous National Biodiversity Data Centre posts.


What’s happening throughout the week?


– a series of webinars has been organized by the GB NNSS that will also be of interest and relevance to Ireland. 

Monday 24th May – what are invasive non-native species?

13:00-13:30 Webinar: Why bees are so important, and how to help protect them from the threat of Asian hornet. Join the NNSS and National Bee Unit for this discussion and find out how to identify Asian hornet.

Tuesday 25th May – how do they impact on the aquatic environment?

18:15-20:00 Seminar: Invasive Species in the Midlands. Hosted by the Institute of Fisheries Management, Midlands. Branch.

Wednesday 26th May – what are their impacts on our woodlands and the wider countryside?

13:00-13:45 Webinar: Biological recording – how your nature sightings can help scientists working on non-native species issues. With the NNSS and Professor Helen Roy from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

10:00-11:30 Webinar: Woodland invasives: grey squirrels. Hosted by the UK Squirrel Accord.

10:00 Webinar: What lies beneath: practical applications in marine invasive and non-native species management. Hosted by APEM.

Thursday 27th May – how do they affect the places we live and our quality of life?

09:00-10:00 Webinar: How invasive weeds can impact the urban environment. Hosted by the Property Care Association.

13:00-13:45 Webinar: Wildlife friendly gardening with non-invasive plants. Join the NNSS and Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz and April Webb from Coventry University to hear a discussion on the ways that gardeners can help to prevent the spread of invasive non-native species.

12:30-13:15 Webinar: Alien Invasions – how non-native crayfish have clawed their way into our waterways. Hosted by RSK. ** There was a mix-up in scheduling, this event took place May 24th.**

18:30-19:10 Webinar: The (not so) great (invasive garden) escape. Hosted by Knotweed Control.

Friday 28th May – what are their impacts on small islands around the world?

  • Stay tuned for details!

Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th May – what can I do to help to prevent the spread of invasive species?

Webinars hosted by the GB NNSS will be available online afterwards for anyone who isn’t able to attend.

How can I protect the environment?

There are four simple things that you can do to help prevent the spread of invasive non-native species:

  1. Keep any boats, clothing, footwear and equipment used in water free of invasive non-native species – remember to Check Clean Dry after use.
  2. Be Plant Wise and don’t let your pond or aquarium plants enter the wild.
  3. Take care of your pets, Be Pet Wise never release them or allow them to escape into the wild. It’s cruel and could harm other wildlife.
  4. Look out for invasive species and record your sightings. Read more on recent alerts for Asian hornet and Chinese mitten crab.

How can I take part in Invasive Species Week?

If you or your organization would like to take part, we have a few quick suggestions below for how to do so but we’d love to hear your ideas too:

  • Support on social media. You can find us on twitter at @BioDataCentre where we’ll be posting throughout the week using the #INNSweek and #ReportInvasives so please retweet or create your own posts using the hashtags to join the thread. @InvasiveSp is the official feed for the GB Invasive Species Week.
  • Create displays at outdoor sites. If you manage or work at a site that’s popular with walkers, you could create a display.
  • Hold an online webinar or training session. A series of webinars are happening throughout the week (take a look at the details above) but we would love to publicize yours too.
  • Write a blog. Let people know how invasive species affect your local area, and how they can help to prevent this.
  • Share information and awareness raising materials with your networks. If you have something you think others would find useful, let us know too we will help share it.
  • Let us know at the National Biodiversity Data Centre if you have an event planned and we will help share it, contact [email protected] with Invasive Species Week in the subject line.

Additional information

Invasive Species Week was not held in 2020 but here is a link to the 2019 event webpage: Invasive Species Week 2019

Short video on invasive species and our aquatic environment.

Short video on invasive species and our woodlands.

Short video on the Be Plant Wise biosecurity campaign


Horizon scan report (2017). Click to download full report in Pdf
Infographic on invasive species
IAS and Climate change. Click image to download the full IUCN Issues Brief in Pdf