Wales Resilient Ecological Network (WaREN)

Invasive non-native species

Wales Resilient Ecological Network

Help us tackle invasive species across Wales

Dramatic veins on a Gunnera sp. leaf © Tomos Jones

What are invasive non-native species?

Invasive non-native species have been introduced by humans, intentionally or unintentionally, beyond their natural range. Their spread threatens native biological diversity and can cause damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live.

Invasive non-native species (INNS) are also referred to as Invasive Alien Species (IAS). Here we refer to them as invasive species.

Wales Resilient Ecological Network

The Wales Resilient Ecological Network (WaREN) will establish a framework for tackling invasive species across Wales. We will develop linkages between stakeholders who are taking action on invasive species, with existing projects such as the Our River Wellbeing project on the river Dee and Local Action Groups in Wales. Local Action Groups focus on reducing the risks and impacts of invasive species in their local area, for example through direct management.

WaREN will also increase public engagement to raise awareness of invasive species through effective science communication and sharing best practice.

Meet the WaREN team

Tomos Jones - Project Manager

Tomos is responsible for ensuring that this ambitious project is delivered and an invasive species strategy is developed for Wales. Tomos’ particular interest is in identifying ornamental plants that might escape gardens and become invasive in the wild. That is the focus of his PhD at the University of Reading. A native of Anglesey, he is passionate about engaging the public in environmental issues in Wales and in science communication.


Telephone: 07726358228

Tomos Jones (WaREN Project Manager)

Tomos Jones © University of Reading

Jess Minett - Project Officer (south)

Jess is based at the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales and will be engaging with stakeholders and Local Action Groups across south and mid-Wales. Jess has previously worked with invasive brown trout in the Falkland Islands as part of her research at Swansea University and the South Atlantic Environmental Research Institute. She is passionate about tackling invasive species and conserving native fauna as her PhD aimed to provide conservation managers with information to minimise impacts of brown trout on native species.


Telephone: 07377504190

Jess Minett (WaREN Project Officer)

Jess Minett

Max Jones - Project Officer (north)

Max is the WaREN Project Officer for north and mid-Wales based at the North Wales Wildlife Trust. He will be engaging with stakeholders and Local Action Groups across north and mid-Wales to ensure that WaREN is collaborative and sustainable. Max’s passion is his study of reptiles. He studied an introduced population of Aesculapian snakes at The Welsh Mountain Zoo. More recently he was involved with a project in Thailand studying native Burmese pythons, which he hopes will aid its future management as an invasive species in Florida.


Telephone: 07508740561

Max Jones (WaREN Project Officer)

Max Jones

Why is this important?

Invasive species are one of the main threats to biodiversity globally. They have negative impacts on our environment. For example:

  • Competition for resources such as light and water
  • Predation on native species
  • Carrying new diseases
  • Hybridisation - where invasive species breed with closely related native species

Invasive species can also impact on human health and the economy. For example, they were estimated to cost Wales at least £125 million in 2010, a cost which is likely to be increasing. There is information here on current alert species and how to report them.

How can you help?

If you are involved in a Local Action Group tackling invasive species anywhere in Wales, please get in touch with one of the Project Officers. We are collating a list of Local Action Groups to improve collaboration and to gather experiences across Wales.

Volunteers 'balsam bouncing'

Volunteers 'balsam bouncing' © Lesley James

Help tackle invasive species

Become a volunteer
American signal crayfish

Invasive non-native species American signal crayfish ©Trevor Renals

Want to identify invasive species?

Download our pocket ID guide
American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus)

American skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) © Tomos Jones

Report sightings of invasive species in the Dee catchment

Become a citizen scientist
Welsh Government - SMS logo