Meanwood Beck crayfish update 2006
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The following article appeared on BBC online in Jan 2006

Crayfish set up home in the city

Endangered freshwater white-clawed crayfish are thriving in one of the most unlikely parts of urban Leeds.

Britain's only native crayfish have been found in Meanwood Beck at Sheepscar, an area usually more noted for traffic congestion than wildlife.  The crustaceans had been restricted to rural areas of the beck due to the poor quality of water downstream.  But Yorkshire Water and the Environment Agency have cleaned sewage overflows into the beck to extend their habitat.

Endangered species

Biodiversity specialist for the Environment Agency, Martin Christmas, said the crayfish, which are protected under European and UK legislation, were discovered at Sheepscar during routine checks. "Despite the very urban nature of the river at Sheepscar, and the fact that crayfish are not very active in winter, several were found, including a female carrying eggs," he said.  "All this means that one of the country's endangered species is establishing a foothold in an unlikely looking area, and of course our urban rivers and streams are getting cleaner."  Crayfish can be found in a wide range of aquatic habitats, although they are currently under threat from the larger American signal crayfish.

iGreen comment

Great to see that even the doomsayers at the BBC are at last recognising that our rivers are getting cleaner, and rightly giving credit to Yorkshire Water.   What a pity that few readers will realise that  modern Yorkshire Water is doing better than the old Yorkshire Water because was privatised, and now gets fined if it fails to meet strict environmental standards.  

Click here to read the full story.

Oct 2006 update.

My wife saw three crayfish in Edingley Beck where it runs through our garden in Edingley, Notts yesterday.  I guess that's not so surprising but it interested me.  :)


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Last modified: November 12, 2006