Tackling Invasive Species

Invasive non-native species cost the Welsh economy over £125M a year, resulting in the destruction of delicate habitats, damage to personal property and the decline of Wales’ own native species, threatening the biodiversity and ecosystems.  Planting or releasing invasive species into the wild, such as Himalayan Balsam and the Killer Shrimp, is an offence under schedule nine of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it illegal to grow, plant or release any species that is not ordinarily resident to Great Britain.

Key Deliverables

The project for SBW was simple, to raise awareness of invasive species to target audiences in Wales while detailing the actions that they can take to tackle invasive species and uptake good practices in doing so.

By looking at the pathways of introduction, we ensured that each target group had a tailored message. Our primary audience were recreational water users (in which we produced a tailored brochure for), people interested in gardening and horticulture, allotment owners and garden centre visitors.

Our campaign commenced on the 23rd May on Invasive Species Week along with a three month digital campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Google search. We also created three explainer films for audience members using rememberable phrases such as ‘Be plant wise’ and ‘Check, Clean and Dry’ with tips on how to manage the threat of invasive species in both public and domestic settings.

The visual style plays on the ‘threat’. The campaign uses a close up or ‘under the microscope’ style photography to create a threatening perspective of the invasive species in Wales. Using the phrase ‘Let’s tackle’ gives a sense of community and collective responsibility, intending that the threat of invasive species can only be managed successfully if it is a collective effort.

The results 

For this campaign, we exceeded ALL campaign objectives, achieving the following:

  •  Increased national awareness of invasive species by 6%.
  • From our 3-month digital campaign we exceeded our target for clicks to the campaign page by over 275%, which helped gain over 6 million impressions and plenty of traffic to the webpage!
  • A total of 484 people signed up to the pledge to find out more about invasive species in Wales and what they can do to combat the issue on a local and national level.
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