Case study:Improving the Conservation Status of Freshwater Pearl Mussel Targeting the Clun SAC and Upstream Waters
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- 1 Project overview
- 2 Image gallery
- 3 Catchment and subcatchment
- 4 Site
- 5 Project background
- 6 Reasons for river restoration
- 7 Measures
- 8 Monitoring
- 9 Additional documents and videos
- 10 Additional links and references
- 11 Supplementary Information
|Project web site||http://www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/looking-after/projects/rivers/|
|Themes||Environmental flows and water resources, Fisheries, Habitat and biodiversity, Hydromorphology, Land use management - agriculture, Land use management - forestry, Monitoring, Social benefits, Water quality|
|Main contact forename||Mike|
|Main contact surname||Kelly|
|Main contact user ID|
|Contact organisation||Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership|
|Contact organisation web site||http://www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/|
|Partner organisations||Natural England, Environment Agency, CSFI, Land Life and Livelihoods, local farmers and landowners|
|Parent multi-site project|
| This is a parent project
encompassing the following
- To restore the Clun SAC to favourable Condition
- Riparian habitat restoration/creation by stock exclusion, control of Phytophthora alni by coppicing, tree planting, provision of sustainable livestock watering, improvements in stock crossings
- Surveys and scoping studies to inform conservation activity
The River Clun and tributaries are located in Shropshire, England, with the lower Clun and most of the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) being located in Herefordshire. The catchment is important for ecology due to the underlying geology of sandstone and mudstones. Clun SAC was designated in 2004 for it population of Freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) demonstrating the European and UK government commitment to its protection. The SAC is in unfavorable condition - Pearl mussels are indicators of excellent water quality, requiring oligotrophic water for their survival. Recruiting populations of pearl mussels help maintain good water quality, as individuals they are able to filter up to 50 litres of water per day to help maintain habitat for other freshwater wildlife (including host salmonids). Pearl mussels are keystone species and are model species to deliver catchment wide conservation strategies; by protecting the pearl mussel, river habitats will be improved for a range of other species.
Reasons for the project
Freshwater pearl mussels are dependent on low sediment and nutrient levels, fast flows of cool water, clean gravels and fringing shade. They also rely on the presence of juvenile salmonids for part of their life-cycle. It is thought that the decline in the population has been occurring for a number of decades, age profiles indicate a population that has failed to recruit juveniles probably since the 1960’s. Recruiting populations are usually numbered in the hundreds of thousands, the Clun population is now estimated at just over 1000 individuals, considered to be permanently stressed and in rapid decline they are in danger of imminent extinction.
Works include: Control of Phytophthora alni by coppicing.
Monitoring surveys and results
Significant lineage of riprian buffers established and multiple resourse protection measures implemented. As of February 2014, the project has established/protected approximately 25,000m of riparian buffer. Surveys and scoping studies undertaken. This is ongoing work in collaboration with EA, NE and CSFI and complements HLS and CSFI capital works in the Clun Catchment.
Catchment and subcatchment
Select a catchment/subcatchment
Cost for project phases
Reasons for river restoration
Hydromorphological quality elements
Biological quality elements
Physico-chemical quality elements
Additional documents and videos