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AONB: Blackdown Hills

Culm Community Crayfish Project

The Culm Community Crayfish Project has helped monitor and conserve the Culm’s white-clawed crayfish population, one of only two such populations in Devon and facing extinction due to falling water quality and the threat caused by the invasive American signal crayfish..

The Culm Community Crayfish Project (2018) reconnected volunteers and communities with the River Culm. Focusing on the plight of native white-clawed crayfish, a series of school visits, public engagement events and citizen science crayfish surveys (working with 50 volunteers), the project created an increased understanding of the issues affecting this endangered species. 

Follow-up work with Paignton and Bristol Zoos is allowing the creation of ‘ark sites’ and a programme of captive breeding. Over the next 3.5 years, a new £1m EU funded programme will tackle the root cause of extreme flood, drought and water quality issues on the Culm and provide resilience to climate change.