The Green Blue is back with another fun, interactive and informative activity for young people to get involved with at this year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show (5-6 March 2016).  

Exhibiting in the Panorama Hall at Alexandra Palace, London, The Green Blue team will challenge the show’s younger visitors to help stop the spread of Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) by attempting to remove as many alien species as they can from a sailing dinghy – in the shortest time possible.

The competitor with the fastest time each day wins a prize!  

The Green Blue’s ‘Stop The Spread’ activity stand is a great chance to remind dinghy sailors to follow the government’s campaign to Check, Clean and Dry their boats after sailing to help stop the spread of INNS around our UK waters.  

Damaging impact of INNS

INNS are animals and plants that have been introduced by human activity (on purpose or by accident) to parts of the world where they are not normally found.

These species can hitch a ride on boats and equipment and when unknowingly spread from one area to another, they can have a damaging impact on British plants, animals and ecosystems – by spreading disease, competing for habitat and food and direct predation.  

Three of the UK’s most invasive inland water species will feature on The Green Blue stand; these are the Quagga Mussel, Creeping Water Primrose, and the Killer Shrimp.

Each species will be represented by a different coloured ball in The Green Blue sailing dinghy. Participants must remove the correct coloured balls as fast as they can and dispose of them in colour coded bins. Whoever removes and disposes them correctly in the fastest time, wins!  

Five years and counting...

The Check Clean Dry campaign, launched in 2011, encourages all inland water users to do the following before they move from one water body to another:

  • Check your equipment and clothing for living plants and animals. Pay particular attention to areas that are damp or hard to inspect.
  • Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly. If you do come across any plants and animals, leave them at the waterbody where you found them.  
  • Dry all equipment and clothing – some species can live for many days in moist conditions; make sure you don’t transfer water elsewhere.

Environmental Outreach Officer for The Green Blue, Kate Fortnam, explains: “It is important that boaters demonstrate they are doing all they can to reduce the spread of invasive non-native species in order to help protect the environment we sail in and reduce potential damage to boat engines and props.  

“Come and join us in the Panorama Hall at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show and help us locate and remove all the invasive species from The Green Blue’s dinghy. We’ll look forward to welcoming you onto our stand to take part in our fun and challenging interactive activity as we celebrate the Check, Clean, Dry campaign’s fifth anniversary.”  

Will you make the pledge?

To mark the fifth anniversary of the Check Clean Dry campaign, exhibitors and visitors at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show will also be encouraged to pledge their commitment to stopping the spread of invasive non-native species. Follow @TheGreenBlue to see who's making the pledge!  

Advance tickets to the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show are available (until midnight on Friday, 4 March) at a reduced rate of £10 to RYA members and £12.50 to non-RYA members. A transaction fee of £1.50 applies to each transaction.  

See you there!

Tickets will also be available on the door for £16 each and each adult ticket entitles you to bring up to two children free of charge. You can buy tickets online or call the ticket hotline on 0844 858 9069 (calls are charged at 7p per minute, plus network extras).  

Download our App before the show to find exhibitor stands, view schedules and much more... just search for 'Dinghy Show' in your App store! 

Pictured: The 'killer shrimp' - an invasive non-native species that has spread from the Ponto-Caspian Region of Eastern Europe. They are both voracious predators that kill a range of native species, including young fish, and can significantly alter ecosystems. Visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk/ to find out more.