white clawed

CRAYFISH Survey Services

Initial site assessment/ review of biological data

Edna testing for crayfish presence

Report on crayfish/mitigation strategy

Any ongoing monitoring, application to Natural England (dependant on impacts)

Detailed Assessments and Reports to Support Planning Applications



The white-clawed crayfish is shielded by European and UK regulations. Covered by Annexes II and V of the European Habitats Directive (1992), it mandates Special Areas of Conservation and restricts disturbing the species.

The European Bern Convention recognises it as a protected species in Appendix III. UK's Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 safeguards it from intentional extraction and trade, with breaches incurring up to £5000 fines.

Additionally, five invasive crayfish species are restricted from being reintroduced into the wild under the same Act, given their risk to native species. Recognised in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, the white-clawed crayfish's UK population has dipped by over 25% in the past quarter-century. National and regional plans have been drafted to bolster their numbers, curbing threats from foreign species and illness.


freshwater streams


White-clawed crayfish, once widespread in specific UK regions, now face a significant decline in their populations. Given their conservation importance, planning authorities must consider their presence. Therefore, when developments impact streams or rivers in areas housing this species, a survey is typically advised.

These surveys are most effective from July to October and in April. Crayfish are less active from November to March, making this period less optimal for surveys. Breeding in May and June prevents survey activities during these months. For collection, funnel traps are positioned along stream banks overnight, using bait to lure the nocturnal crayfish. Alternate methods encompass manual searches beneath large rocks and using torches for night-time observations. Capturing these crayfish for study necessitates a proper licence.

survey timings

White-clawed crayfish surveys, which include hand searches, night torch searches, and trapping, are best conducted from July to October. Avoid surveys in May and June due to young release by females and from December to March when water temperatures drop below 8°C, making crayfish less active. The watercourse physical traits, like depth, flow rate, and clarity, will dictate the survey method and timing. However, daytime habitat evaluations can be done throughout the year.

Contact Us

For more information on the White Clawed Crayfish Survey, or to discuss a specific project, contact our office on 0845 463 4404.
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