Download the full outcome
Detail of outcome
Natural England has reviewed the responses to this consultation. See the business engagement assessment (attached above) for full details of the outcome.
The white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) is the only native crayfish species found in the UK. It’s suffered significant decline due to:
- the introduction of North American signal crayfish
- a harmful fugus (Aphanomyces astaci) carried by the signal crayfish
It’s an offence to take white-clawed crayfish from English waterways under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), but it’s lawful to carry out works which would kill them. All activities resulting in harm or death should be avoided, where possible.
To prevent further decline, Natural England issued around 50 individual licences each year to take white-clawed crayfish to allow lawful maintenance of English waterways. Natural England now proposes to issue a class licence with standard terms and conditions instead.
If this licence is approved you’ll need to register to use it to carry out maintenance on:
- road, rail and footbridges
- canal locks
- silt traps
- bank works of approximately 10 to 20 metres long
- in-channel works
- reservoirs, spillways and sluices
The class licence also includes the Environment Agency’s permit under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 to fish for white-clawed crayfish by hand, hand net or drop net.
Read the documents attached above to help your understanding of the proposal and respond using the short online survey.