Student Invasive Non-Native Group

SINNG is a student Local Action Group based at Cornwall College, Newquay. Launched in 2010, we are working to increase action and awareness on INNS (Invasive Non-Native Species) and reduce the impacts INNS are currently having on native wildlife. Action includes practical fieldwork, research, public engagement and raising awareness.

Latest News

SINNG volunteers’ achievements awarded

BSc Applied Zoology graduate and long standing SINNG volunteer Tracey Twomey was awarded Student of the Year 2014 at the Tracey Twomey Student of the Year 2014graduation ceremony at Truro Cathedral. Tracey has been a very active volunteer with SINNG, Green Team, worked as a student ambassador and generally worked incredibly hard over the past 4 years. Her efforts have paid off as soon after finishing her course Tracey was offered a full time post as a keeper at Newquay Zoo. Tracey continues to volunteer with SINNG and is a huge asset to the project in all aspects of our work with invasive species. Tracey was also shortlisted for the Student Star Award Green award 2014 a category she won in 2013.

Thanks also to all the staff who were involved in organising the graduation buffet. It was a lovely opportunity to catch up with our students. 

Congratulations also go to Stuart Edwards winner of Cornwall College Student Star Awards Green Award 2014. He was also a runner up in the Volunteering category. Stuart has volunteered tirelessly for SINNG even before he enrolled on his course in 2012. Since then he has undertaken a summer internship, regular outreach and awareness events through the STEM ambassador programme, practical clearance tasks and conducted research work for his FdSc Zoological Conservation which linked in with SINNG’s nationally important research on invasive species. As a 3rd year student Stuart remains a key volunteer in the SINNG project and I thank him for his hard work and dedication.

I would like to say a huge thank you to all my volunteers for all they contribute to invasive species action and awareness. Special congratulations go to Tracey and Stuart for all their hard work and commitment over the years with SINNG. You are great examples to our current students. Very well deserved awards. – Nicola Morris, Project Coordinator

Quagga Mussel Invasion

Quagga Mussel. Photo credit: US Geological Society.

Quagga Mussel. Photo credit: US Geological Society.

In October 2014 Quagga Mussel was found in Wraysbury Reservoir and the Wraysbury River, a tributary of the River Colne, near Egham, Surrey. This is the first UK record of this species. The Quagga Mussel (Dreissena bugensis rostriformis) is a highly invasive non-native species from the Ponto-Caspian region, very similar to Zebra Mussel. It can significantly alter whole ecosystems by filtering out large quantities of nutrients and is also a serious biofouling risk blocking pipes smothering boat hulls and other structures. Further sightings should be reported online using this reporting form or by sending an email with a photograph and location details. Information, links and material can be found here.

Everyone visiting a water body is responsible for helping to avoid the spread of non-native species on their clothes, equipment and everything else that comes into contact with water. This guidance sets out simple instructions that can help everyone prevent the accidental transfer of non-native species.

New-starting Students Sign up for SINNG!

We had a stand set up at the Cornwall College campus in Newquay to welcome the new cohort of students. We introduced them to our role as an organisation and how they can get involved with our work during their studies. The event had a great turnout and we’ve acquired many more enthusiastic volunteers – expect to meet some of them at upcoming SINNG events!

A busy summer for SINNG

The SINNG Newsletter for this summer has just been released. We’ve been busy providing educational workshops to schools across AlienDetectivesLogothe county, with children learning all about invasive non-native species through practical and enjoyable activities. Our ‘Alien Detective Challenge‘ education packs are hot-off-the-press and sparking interest from local, national and even international organisations. Meanwhile, we’ve been out in the field tackling invasive non-native plants and conducting critical research into invasive Alpine Newts.
Click here to read the full summer 2014 newsletter

Horizon Scanning

In order to encourage the recording of potential new arrivals of invasive non-native species, we have added an alert species section to the Invasive Species page. Try to make yourself familiar with them and keep an eye out for them

A Student’s Perspective

Zoology student, Liam Burton, has given an insight into being a student volunteer with SINNG.
Click here to read it

SINNG volunteers scoop star prizes!

Jay Minuti Cornwall College Student of the Year 2013 with Fellow SINNG volunteer Jack HicksOur volunteers have been very successful winning awards recently. Jay Minuti was awarded the Plymouth University Award for Cornwall College Student of the year at the recent graduation ceremony. Her academic success was noted as well as her commitment to SINNG & her STEM ambassador work. Very well deserved.
Tracey Twomey won the Green Award at the Cornwall College Student Star Awards. Tracey has shown a huge commitment to volunteering with SINNG both at practical events & STEM workshops. Amy Jones was runner up in the same category.  Congratulations to you both.
The SINNG team has been nominated for an  award at the upcoming Staff Star awards. This is testimony to the huge number of hours volunteers put in to the project. Well done to you all.
Click here to read more

College celebrates Biology week with return of STEM club Saplings

Saplings having fun playing SINNG pairsSaplings, the after school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) club, held at Newquay’s Atlantic Centre, launched its new programme this week.  To help celebrate Biology Week children from local primary schools came along and had a great time while learning about science. At the launch party kids were encouraged to get involved by writing their names in invisible ink (lemon juice), playing with “walking water” where water coloured with blue and yellow food dye walked down kitchen towel and mixed at the bottom to form green water. The session ended with a scavenger hunt around the Atlantic Centre looking for a variety of objects and was a great success.
Click here to read more

Go Native for Cornwall

Penrose native pond plantsAlien invaders were the target for SINNG students who helped launch the new native pond plant range at Penrose Water Gardens, Shortlanesend. In a bid to reduce the impacts invasive species have on native wildlife a perfect partnership has been struck with the Gardens – SINNG runs community awareness and educational workshops, and regular student parties visit the gardens to remove any pesky invasive plants out-competing the beautiful lilies the gardens pride themselves upon. There are 5 aquatic plants which the government have banned from sale from April 2014 and others which whilst not subject to the ban also have an adverse impact on native species.
Click here to read more

Scouts shout out “There’s only one Stuart!”

Falmouth Sea Scouts enjoying pond surveying and clearance

The beautiful grounds at Pencarrow House, nr Bodmin was the venue for this year’s Kernow Jamboree 2013 – The international Scout & Guide Jamboree. Scouts, Guides, Explorer Scouts & Ranger Guides aged 10-26 from around the world including units from as far afield as Scotland, Cornwall, Canada & Africa camped on the estate & took part in a range of activities.

Click here to read more!

More SINNG news…