Endangered crayfish rescued during Cumbria viaduct work

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WORK to reinforce a 173-year-old railway viaduct is helping to protect endangered crayfish in Cumbria. 

The Grade-II listed Docker Garths Viaduct, on the West Coast Main Line at Lambrigg, is currently being reinforced to repair damage from water erosion, at a cost of £750,000. 

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Work includes the diversion of the Flodder Beck river to allow the installation of rock armour protection. 

Around 200 endangered white-clawed crayfish, along with another 400 less rare fish, were caught and moved downstream.

Reinforcement work to repair erosion damage at Docker Garths Viaduct included the diversion of the river, during which around 200 endangered native crayfish were discovered and moved to a safer location. NETWORK RAIL

Native white-clawed crayfish have almost been wiped out since American signal crayfish were introduced into the UK by salmon farms in the 1970s. 

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The larger, invasive species not only competes for the same food, but also carries a disease which is deadly to native crayfish.

Read more News and Features in the October 2019 issue of The RM –on sale now!

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About the Author

Nigel Devereux

Let off some steam...