SWINSTY and Fewston reservoirs, between Skipton and Harrogate, have both received awards for fighting the spread of  invasive non-native species.

The reservoirs are two of three Yorkshire Water sites, also including Tophill Low Nature Reserve, Driffield, to be awarded an AQUA Bronze Accreditation for Biosecurity, for work carried out to raise awareness of biosecurity and prevent the spread of invasive non-native species (INNS).

The AQUA biosecurity accreditation scheme, run by the Bristol Zoological Society, works with waterway users, to help them increase their biosecurity efforts to combat the threat of invasive non-native species such as fish, invertebrate and plant species.

Invasive non-native species cost the UK over £4 billion annually, and in Yorkshire, include species such as giant hogweed, signal crayfish and Australian swamp stonecrop.

At all three Yorkshire Water sites there has been staff and volunteer biosecurity training, hosting of engagement stands, installing ‘Check Clean Dry’ signs, and monitoring for any potential new invasive species.

Yorkshire Water joins other water companies in having AQUA accredited sites, as well as recreational clubs and private landowners in the AQUA accreditation scheme.

Steph Bradbeer, senior ecologist for Yorkshire Water said: “We are delighted to have received Bronze AQUA accreditation, reflecting all the great work done on these sites. It’s a fantastic achievement but the work doesn’t stop here, we’ll be working to achieve silver and hopefully gold.

“Yorkshire Water is committed to preventing the spread of invasive non-native species and protecting the environment. As we celebrate the achievement of these Bronze AQUA awards, we look forward to working towards further sites being accredited and educating the public on understanding their role in preventing the spread of INNS.”