On Friday 31 December 2021, a 12ft long native crayfish sculpture commissioned by Northumberland Rivers Trust was unveiled at Northumberland Zoo to celebrate the start of its captive breeding programme.
The programme aims to breed and release the native species into Northumberland’s rivers and lakes.
It builds on work to boost native numbers and prevent the spread of the invasive American signal crayfish, which puts the future of the white-clawed species in danger because of the ‘crayfish plague’ that it carries.
The partnership – including the Northumberland Zoo, Environment Agency, Northumberland Rivers Trust and National Trust – is now calling on local people to ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ their clothing and equipment after visiting local rivers to avoid transferring invasive species and the crayfish plague between rivers.
Northumberland has some of the country’s last strongholds of white-clawed crayfish, with the Wansbeck and Aln having some of the best remaining populations in Europe.
Read more here.