Farmers invited to help save rare species

Farmers are being asked to get involved and help to save rare species in Northumbrian rivers. As part of the process they’re invited to an event on Wednesday 13 February, 2008 at Wallington Hall, Cambo, Morpeth.

Jackie Hamer of the Environment Agency explains what it’s all about: “The Wansbeck and Font catchment, lying mainly to the west of Morpeth, is one of the last remaining strongholds for our native white-clawed crayfish.

“This native crayfish has been wiped out in lots of rivers and streams across the country by stiff competition from the larger American signal crayfish which carries a disease to which the native species has little resistance.

“There are several other rare species in Northumbrian rivers and to save them we need sympathetic land management, which is where the farmers and land managers can help. They’re the key to preserving these species and we’re very keen to meet them and discuss the best way to achieve this.

“The event on 13 February is free and runs from 7 to 9pm. There’ll be short presentations by ourselves, the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group and the National Trust, followed by a buffet in the restaurant.

“If any farmers or their farming neighbours haven’t received a direct invitation they’re still welcome to come along – we want the word to get round to everyone in land management who wants to get involved. If anyone has any queries they can give me a ring on 0191 203 4095.”