VOLUNTEERS in Flintshire have hand crafted murals highlighting the links between international trade and invasive species.

The murals have been designed by Our Backyard volunteers alongside representatives from North Wales Wildlife Trust and Flintshire Coastal Rangers as part of 'Big Dee Day'.

They have been placed on display on Dock Road in Connah's Quay to highlight the issue of international trade and its impact on invasive species.

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An invasive species is one that is not native to a specific location, and that has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment.

And islands like the UK are particularly susceptible to the negative impacts of invasive species - due to their reliance on shipping trade.

The most famous example is the introduction of grey squirrels from North America in the 19th Century. Grey squirrels have been so successful partly because of their ability to out-compete, due to their larger size, but they also carry a virus which is fatal to native red squirrels and the latter native squirrels are now fairly rare around most of the UK.

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Helen Carter-Emsell from North Wales Wildlife Trust was on hand to help out with the designing of the murals and educate people about the link between international trade and invasive species.

She said: "The cost of management of alien species is thought to be around 1.7 billion pounds per annum and we now have species from every continent in the world, apart from Antarctica, in the UK.

"It's a really important issue to highlight and hopefully people will be able to educated courtesy of the murals."

Our Back Yard organises weekly outdoor volunteering sessions in Connah's Quay every Wednesday and people can email amy.jones@groundworknorthwales if you are interested in volunteering.

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