The white clawed crayfish is the only species of crayfish native to the British Isles. It is protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It is an offence to intentionally take white-clawed crayfish from the wild. It is also an offence to sell these crayfish.

White Clawed Crayfish

The white-clawed crayfish is the only species of freshwater crayfish native to the UK. It was once widespread in clean, calcareous streams, rivers and lakes in England and Wales and a few areas in Northern Ireland. Many populations have been lost since the 1970s, due to the spread of the signal crayfish and pollution of suitable watercourses with insecticides.

The white clawed crayfish is olive-brown in colour, and has pale-coloured undersides to the claws. It may grow to 12 cm long, although sizes below 10 cm are more common. They inhabit streams and waterways typically around 1metre deep but can also be found in water as shallow as 5cm or as deep as 2.5 metres.

The white-clawed crayfish typically occupies habitats under rocks and submerged logs, among tree roots, algae and macrophytes, although it usually emerges to forage for food. Juveniles in particular may also be found among rocks and leaf litter. Adults sometimes burrow into suitable substrates, in the winter months.


Case Studies

Phase 1 Habitat Survey in Winchester

November 2011
UES recently completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of an old mill in Winchester. An Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey involves mapping the habitats on the ... more...

Extended phase 1 habitat survey in Deeside

August 2011
UES have completed an extended phase 1 habitat survey of a site in Deeside, North Wales in order to inform the client of any potential impacts their development... more...

Breeam Habitat Survey in Birmingham

November 2010
UES were commissioned to provide an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of o high rise office complex near Edgbaston in Birmingham. The Survey is to provide informa... more...

Ecological surveys and advice in Congleton

October 2010
In August 2010, United Utilities and their associated agents The Vinden Partnership applied for planning permission for slope stabilisation works adjacent the ... more...

Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey Flintshire

May 2010
United Environmental Services have completed an Extended Phase 1 Habitat Survey of a site near the town of Flint in North Wales. The site has been a dis-used br... more...

Major Pipeline Survey

January 2010
UES were commissioned by a Northwest based utilities company to carry out survey work for a major pipeline in the north west of England. ##Planning The propo... more...