Southern Chalkstreams Project

Conserving the White-Clawed Crayfish

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is a key partner of Vitacress Conservation Trust, working to safeguard our special chalk rivers and their threatened wildlife for over 25 years. Through the Southern Chalkstreams Project, the Trust is the lead organisation working in Hampshire to conserve the endangered white-clawed crayfish.

Running since 2016, the Southern Chalkstreams project is a partnership project between theHampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and the Vitacress Conservation Trust, Environment Agency, Natural England, Bristol Zoological Society (BZS), and Sparsholt College.

Crayfish Project

The Southern Chalkstreams project is currently delivering a number of measures to protect, preserve and promote the expansion of white-clawed crayfish in Hampshire.

This includes:

  • Raising awareness of the issues threatening white-clawed crayfish (specifically non-native crayfish species and the deadly crayfish plague)
  • Delivering a well-established monitoring programme of existing white-clawed crayfish sites / maintaining an up to date knowledge of the distribution of non-native crayfish in Hampshire
  • Providing technical advice and guidance to partner organisations, stakeholder groups and relevant land / riparian owners to sympathetically manage and  enhance existing sites for white-clawed crayfish.

Further to this, the Trust has been working with the BZS on an exciting project to rear and breed white-clawed crayfish from Hampshire in captivity, for release both at new locations in the upper Itchen catchment, and at newly established ‘ark’ sites.

Our Other Projects…

Riverfly Monitoring Initiative

Riverfly Monitoring Initiative

The Riverfly Partnership runs an invertebrate monitoring scheme which is of keen interest to anglers and wildlife enthusiasts alike who share a concern for the present and future health of our rivers. The initiative is based on the counting at regular intervals of key river insect species and other invertebrate groups as a method of assessing river quality.

Tree Sparrow

Tree Sparrow Project

The Tree Sparrow is synonymous with mixed farming landscapes and was once widespread across Wiltshire and Hampshire, but are all but lost as a breeding species in the latter. Changes to agriculture and the loss of nesting sites have driven the population’s decline, although significant efforts have been exerted in Wiltshire to help their recovery.