We were delighted to be invited on board the Floating Cinema last month, as we set sail along the Regent’s Canal from Mile End to Limehouse Basin and back, searching for the many invasive plants and animals that have made their home in London’s waterways.

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Jon examines a crayfish trap

Joining us to lead our nature-tour-with-a-twist were aquatic ecologist Jon Grey and crayfish conservation expert Lydia Robbins. They brought along a range of species (alive and pickled!) that had been retrieved from the local area – from demon shrimp and crayfish, to goldfish, Chinese mitten crabs, and even a terrapin.

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Jon gets to grips with an invasive Red Swamp Crayfish

Along the way we attempted – sadly unsuccessfully – to trap some Signal Crayfish, while Jon and Lydia pointed out various invasive species and explained their impacts on the local ecosystem.

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Getting hands on with invasive species…

On the way back, Jon mapped the canal’s ecosystem using a large graph and two flavours of Club biscuit – orange for invasive and mint for native…

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The pickled specimens

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Looking for invasive species in the Regent’s Canal

You can see more photos in our Flickr set and also some great images from artist Nina Pope, who kindly commissioned us to produce the tour.

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