White Clawed Crayfish Surveys
White-clawed crayfish are protected by UK legislation, making it illegal to take from the wild, sell or offer for sale, any live or dead animal.
White clawed crayfish are listed in Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), making it an offence to take them from the wild or sell them. They are also protected internationally under Annexes II and V of the EC Habitats Directive and listed in Appendix III of the Bern Convention. It is classed as Globally Threatened by IUCN/WCMC.
In England and Wales, this Act has been amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way (CRoW) Act 2000, which adds an extra offence, makes species offences arrestable, increases the time limits for some prosecutions and increases penalties. The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 places a duty on Government Departments to have regard for the conservation of biodiversity and maintains lists of species and habitats which are of principal importance for the purposes of conserving biodiversity in England and Wales. White-clawed crayfish are included on these lists. The white-clawed crayfish is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species.
The reader should refer to the original legislation for the definitive interpretation.
What we do
One of our experienced, and where appropriate, licensed consultants will undertake a detailed survey of the water courses or water bodies to be impacted, to include areas up and downstream of the site (as appropriate and where access allows). This will include an assessment of the suitability of the habitat present and a search for crayfish. This detailed search may involve direct search methodology, torchlight survey or trapping.
Should white clawed crayfish be identified on or near the site then Middlemarch Environmental can design appropriate mitigation to avoid works causing offences relating to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
The Mitigation Strategy will need to be approved by the relevant Statutory National Government Organisation, the Environment Agency and / or British Waterways prior to any works commencing.
In addition to white clawed crayfish surveys, Middlemarch Environmental has extensive experience of providing cost-effective solutions for all aspects of white clawed crayfish assessment and mitigation and can also provide the following services:
- Crayfish trapping and exclusion from working areas.
- Clerk of works.
- Habitat enhancement and creation.