Established in 2014, RammSanderson has a proven track record in delivering projects where a white-clawed crayfish survey and mitigation are required.  

RammSanderson has in-house licensed crayfish experts who can perform a wide range of surveys to statutory guidelines, as well as mitigation licencing to allow works to proceed lawfully.

Ecology of White Clawed Crayfish 

White-clawed crayfish (WCC) is one of several crayfish species present in the UK but the only native species. 

Introduced species such as Signal Crayfish, endanger the WCC species, with the spread of the crayfish plague and the ability to out-compete our much smaller native species. 

As such, WCC numbers are declining around the UK and are therefore listed as a protected species under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). To ensure the conservation of white-clawed crayfish, it is imperative to conduct a crayfish survey to monitor their population and habitat health.

Mating occurs September-November. The females carry their eggs until they hatch. Once hatched, young will remain with their mother for two weeks. 


Crayfish Legal Status and Planning

It is illegal to take or sell white-clawed crayfish. It is also a criminal offence to intentionally or recklessly kill or injure white-clawed crayfish under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).  

Where the presence of white-clawed crayfish is a concern, a thorough crayfish survey must be conducted in accordance with the Water Resources Act 1991 and the Land Drainage Act 1991

This survey is necessary when seeking consent from authorities such as the Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board, or other statutory agencies for operations near watercourses.

Signal Crayfish

White Clawed Crayfish Survey 

At RammSanderson, our team of qualified ecologists hold the necessary Natural England and Natural Resources Wales Crayfish Licence. 

Our experts undertake the following crayfish survey key elements:

Desk Study

The first stage of a crayfish survey is to establish whether there is any history of crayfish within a river catchment. Our experts will contact local authorities and statutory agencies for a full history and background search to determine whether crayfish may be present.

Refuge Sampling

Our comprehensive crayfish survey includes refuge sampling whereby our in-house experts take samples from potential hiding places where crayfish may shelter during identification and inspection. This could include under logs, rocks, or other vegetation. This allows our team to increase the likelihood of detection of crayfish populations and is crucial for assessment and conservation.


Where crayfish are known or suspected to reside, our team may carry out trapping which involves using specialist equipment to effectively trap crayfish to allow our experts to estimate their population and distribution. It also allows our team to collect specimens for further analysis in terms of determining species composition and health.


Following our comprehensive crayfish survey, mitigation may be required. RammSanderson has planned and implemented numerous, white-clawed crayfish mitigation projects in line with statutory guidelines to meet the requirements of individual developments. Our team of in-house experts has vast experience in the reintroduction, creation, and enhancement of white-clawed crayfish habitats.

Why Choose RammSanderson for Crayfish Survey Services?

With over 20 years of experience, our licenced in-house experts will work closely with you to ensure you receive a comprehensive Crayfish Survey in line with statutory guidelines and legislation.

We hold the necessary licences to undertake a crayfish survey where required with precision and efficiency. We have a proven track record of reliability and accuracy and understand the importance of ensuring sustainability and the protection of water-dependent wildlife.  

RammSanderson has a team of experienced consultants ready to carry out Crayfish Survey Service. Get in touch today!