View events by type

Identification and Management of Invasive Alien Plant Species

  • Date(s)
    Wednesday, 19 October 2016
  • Time(s)
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Venue
    Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  • Fee

    Members: €295
    Non-Members: €345
    NOTE: You can only book online using credit or debit card details

  • CPD Credit
    1 hour   C1


The course will provide engineers with the capacity to identify most of the principal invasive alien plant species in Ireland, particularly those present in aquatic, riparian and disturbed habitats. It will also provide specific details regarding what control methods are most effective and how they should be applied. The importance of biosecurity in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive alien plant species will be highlighted.

Course aim

The course aims to provide engineers with an ability to recognise the main invasive alien plants in the field and to be aware of the most efficient and environmentally sensitive control options. It will provide best practice solutions for biosecurity as they visit sites throughout the country. It will also familiarise them with national and international legislation relating to these invasive plants.


  • Introduction to invasive alien species and why they are a problem.
  • Practical identification of invasive alien plant species using ID materials and living specimens.
  • Introduction to national and EU invasive species legislation.
  • Best biosecurity practice to prevent the spread of invasive alien plant species.
  • Introduction to practical control methods for invasive species.
  • Impacts, Control and Management of key invasive alien plant species, to include case studies on: Japanese knotweed and related knotweeds, Himalayan balsam, Giant hogweed, Gunnera, Rhododendron & Laurel, Winter heliotrope, Curly-leaved waterweed and New Zealand pigmyweed.

Discussion time will be incorporated into both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Learning objectives

Using live plant materials, the participants will be brought through the identification process for most of the key invasive species. At the end of the hands-on practical session, they will understand basic botanical terminology and be able to identify most diagnostic botanical features on these species. The remainder of the course will focus on PowerPoint presentations, with ample discussion time between each course item to pursue particular issues of interest. By the end of the course, participants should have a good understanding of the traits that confer competitive advantage on invasive alien plants over native species and how to control these insidious species. They will also be aware of the importance of biosecurity and of how this should be best practiced.

Who should attend

Engineers who are confronted with troublesome invasive alien plant species, in terrestrial or aquatic situations, as they go about their everyday duties.

Why should I attend

The course will enable engineers to accurately identify problematic invasive alien plant species and to be aware of the most effective control or management options. It will also provide them with a basic understanding of the legalities that surround invasive species.


Dr Joe Caffrey has worked as a senior research scientist with Inland Fisheries Ireland for more than 30 years. Over the last decade and a half, much of this work focused on invasive alien species. His work has been very practical-based, researching and experimenting with methods of controlling nuisance invasives. He has spear-headed the development of weed control methods that are now operated worldwide. He has also been involved in the development of national and international legislation dealing with invasive species. Dr Caffrey is now a Director with INVAS Biosecurity, a company that provides a professional contracting and consultancy service that targets invasive species in aquatic and terrestrial situations. He has provided many training courses on invasives to academics and practitioners in Ireland and abroad.

Make a Booking

19 October 2016


Confirmation is subject to event fee being finalised. Cancellation fees calculated at 50% of the estimated total bill will be charge for confirmed bookings cancelled less than 5 working days prior to the date of the planned event. A replacement person can attend instead. Cancellations made the day prior to an event will be charged 75% of the total estimated bill. No-shows will be charged the full fee. All cancellations must be confirmed in writing, fax or email.