More than a million volunteers are needed to tackle the spread of invasive non-native species in the UK, MPs say.

It is estimated that between 36 and 48 new such species will become established in the next 20 years, according to a report by the Environmental Audit Committee.

Climate change is putting "the future of our natural landscape at risk," said committee chairwoman Mary Creagh.

A government spokesperson said it was "committed" to tackling the problem.

The phrase "invasive non-native species" (Inns) describes those species that have been directly moved as a result of human activity. In the UK, examples include the Asian hornet and giant hogweed.

ring neck parakeet

Ring Necked Parakeet

The report says slowing their rate of arrival is the first priority in stopping their establishment.

It cites New Zealand's plan to train 150,000 people in biosecurity by 2025 and says the government should significantly expand its approach to public engagement. The committee wants 1.3 million people to be taught how to spot "outbreaks" of invasive species.

Ms Creagh, a Labour MP, said: "Inns is one of the UK's top five threats to the natural environment. If we're to beat this, we need people power, with an army of volunteers trained to spot and stop an invasive species before it becomes established.

The report also calls for the government to set up a rapid-response emergency fund to enable agencies to tackle a threat before it gets out of control and to increase funding for the Non-Native Species Secretariat to £3m per year.

Read the full article here

Related content