There are many plants and animals in the UK that have not evolved here. They are non-native. But that doesn't mean they are bad, just perhaps not ideal for others using the same habitat. You probably take many of them for granted. Grey squirrels, pheasants or buddleia for example. Some of them you've probably seen news items trying to create a panic about (looking at you Daily Mail!). But what makes them invasive? It is often several things that can cause this. They might have no natural preditors, or very few, to hunt them and kill them. Which means they can reproduced quicker than other native species. They might be a little bolder (or some say agressive) in their behaviour. Pushing out local (or indigenous) animals. Every year, we are getting more and more species added to the list, this is direclty linked to climate change.
One that was added to the list in the 1990s was the topmouth gudgeon. It might be more familiar to anglers than to everyone else. It came from Japan! Sorry, couldn't resist.
It doesn't really matter where it came from (more info here). What really matters is what we do about it.
The Environment Agency have done a lot of hard work to remove the species from our lakes and rivers. Of the 37 known populations in the UK, 29 have been removed since 2004, there are 8 left to treat, all of which are in stillwaters and small stream systems. And here's where Miller's Pond enters the frame.
Many of you will have noticed that the pond has had some major works done recently. This is all to make the pond healthier, and more sustainable. The final stage of this is to remove the topmouth gudgeon. So, how are they going to do this? Well, I think we'll all agree that the solution isn't ideal, but in this instance it is vital that it gets done, otherwise the pond (and surrounding areas) will be in very poor health going foward.
If you want to know more about the way it is being done, please have a read of the letter the Environment Agency have put together to explain the who, what, where, when and how.
If you want to find out more about Invasive Species, the list is compiled by NNSS https://www.nonnativespecies.org/non-native-species/species-alerts/