Fresh water pearl mussels receive protection under the following legislation:
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended)
- The Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations 2010
The UKs freshwater systems are also regulated through:
- The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive), (England and Wales) Regulations 2003
England and Wales are each now believed to support only a single recruiting population, however Scotland is the remaining European stronghold supporting functional populations in over 50 rivers. The sites identified by statutory agencies are of international importance and have been designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) as required by the EU Habitats Directive, and receive strict protection under the UKs Habitats Regulations.
When do I need to get in touch?
If your project is to affect a waterway it should always be assessed for protected species and for any effects to freshwater species, such as fresh water pearl mussels, fish or white-clawed crayfish. Consideration of the presence of fresh water pearl mussels populations and their life stage can have significant implications regarding;
- Project design
- Consenting requirements
- Project program (potential for significant seasonal restrictions)
- Pollution control and monitoring
- Working methods
We recommend consideration of potential implications on Fresh water pearl mussels at an early stage in project development.
How can EcoNorth Help Me?
EcoNorth use our extensive experience of informing and overseeing works in freshwater environments to advise on project requirements. Where Fresh water pearl mussels surveys are required, EcoNorth have partners who hold the required licence from the appropriate statutory nature conservation organisation to undertake surveys.
We apply best practice guidelines, in-depth knowledge of UK ecology and habitat requirements. We then present the results in our detailed professional reports to inform and support your project planning application or other consenting process.