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Conservation & invasion across the British Isles

 17 – 19 August

 Giggleswick School, Settle, North Yorkshire 

We are pleased to announce that amongst the confirmed speakers are:

Julian Reynolds   Challenges for conservation of native crayfish, with a focus on Ireland (Keynote)

David Holdich       ICS, old NICS and new NICS in Europe (Keynote)

Paul Bradley         The biology of still water populations of white-clawed crayfish

Trevor Renals       Tackling INNS as a regulator with a focus on crayfish species: tools, techniques and expertise (Keynote)

Paul Stebbing       Long term field trials in a computer: how population models can help in the development of management strategies for invasive crayfish

Lenart Edsman     The rise and fall of signal crayfish in Sweden – population collapses in introduced NICS

Stephanie Peay    The costs and benefits of control of non-indigenous crayfish

Jonathan Grey      From tall tales of big fish to trophic cascades: using isotopes to study invasive crayfish biology

Alison Dunn          Parasites and biological invasions: interactions, parallels and control (Keynote)


Conference sessions will be organised into the following sessions:

  • Conservation of white-clawed crayfish in Britain and Ireland
  • Management of invasive non-indigenous crayfish
  • Ecology and impacts of non-indigenous crayfish
  • New invaders and biological interactions

The Fifth National Crayfish Conference will be held at Giggleswick in the Yorkshire Dales on 17 - 19 August 2015.  During the 6 years since the last conference, populations of native white-clawed crayfish have continued to decline across much of The British Isles, whilst the range of American signal crayfish continues to consolidate and expand.  Almost uniquely in Europe, Ireland currently remains free of invasive non-native crayfish.  Crayfish provide valuable case-studies of aquatic invasion, the challenges of management of non-native species and the conservation of native species faces with a range of environmental and biotic threats.


Traditional area-based conservation designations are failing to halt the decline of native crayfish, and in 2010 white-clawed crayfish was reclassified as “Endangered” on IUCN’s Red List of Endangered Species.  At the same time, American signal crayfish continue to be found in new areas, and additional INNS crayfish continue to be found in the wild.  Over the last 5 years, there has been growing evidence of the broader ecological and financial impacts of invasive non-native species, and INNS crayfish in particular.  Partly as a result of this, biosecurity is becoming an ever more important consideration, and Defra has introduced the Check-Clean-Dry campaign.

The EU has been working towards the development of a Strategy on Invasive Alien (Non-native) Species since 2008.  In 2014, The European Parliament agreed plans to prevent the introduction or halt the spread of invasive alien species.  New domestic legislation has been introduced in Ireland and Scotland, and the recent Law Commission review of wildlife law is expected to result in the most significant reform of species protection legislation in England and Wales since the creation of the Wildlife and Countryside Act in 1981.

The 2015 Crayfish Conference will bring together a broad range of researchers, practitioners, regulators and conservationists.  Whether you are interested in crayfish in particular, or the issues related to crayfish conservation and INNS invasion in general, this will be an unmissable national conference.   Based on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales within easy reach of a range of informative excursions, this will certainly be a highlight of the summer. 

Scientific Committee:

Julian Reynolds, David Holdich, Paul Stebbing, Alison Dunn, Stephanie Peay, Paul Bradley, Ian Marshall 


Organising Committee:

Stephanie Peay, Paul Bradley, Ian Marshall, Adam Ellis, Jen Nightingale, Elizabeth Judson



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Monday 17 August

From 4.00pm

Arrivals and Registration


Survey practice: setting crayfish traps for white-clawed crayfish,
crayfish habitat appraisal (Optional field excursion – book in advance)


Evening Meal


Socialising (prepare your limericks for Conference Dinner!)

Tuesday 18 August

8.00am - 8.45am


8.45am - 9.25am

Registration & sign up for field excursions


Welcome and Introduction


Keynote  ICS, olds NICS and   new NICS in Europe  

D Holdich

Aquatic Consultant

10.00am - 12.30pm   (with coffee break)

Session 1: Conservation of white-clawed crayfish in Britain and Ireland

(Chair: J Reynolds)


Keynote   Challenges for   conservation of native crayfish, with a focus on Ireland                          

J Reynolds,  Trinity College University of Dublin


Observations on the niche requirements of white-clawed crayfish in Yorkshire and Derbyshire

K Turner


White-clawed crayfish conservation in South West England    

J Nightingale,  Bristol Zoo


Eight years of   native crayfish conservation and monitoring in the River Eden system in   Cumbria

J Backshall                           Eden Rivers Trust


Stillwater populations of white-clawed crayfish  

P Bradley

PBA Applied Ecology


Crayfish in the Wyre Forest: the importance of barriers to upstream migration                            

G Hill, University of Worcester


White-clawed crayfish in the Wansbeck catchment: movement through culverts, translocation   and creation of temporary habitat    

P Hannaby

Environment Agency


Panel session on session 1 (Chair J Reynolds)

12.30pm - 1.15pm


1.30pm – 4.45pm

Field Excursions – 4 options

5.15pm – 6pm

Poster Session


Drinks Reception

6.30pm – 9.30pm

Conference Dinner



Wednesday 19 August

8.00am - 8.45am


8.45am - 9.00am


9.00am – 11.30am   (inc break)

Session 2:   Management of invasive non-indigenous crayfish


Keynote   Tackling INNS as a regulator with a focus on crayfish species: tools, techniques and expertise    

T Renals

Environment Agency


Longterm field   trials in a computer: how population models can help in the development of management strategies for invasive crayfish

P Stebbing



Quantifying the seasonal demographic impacts of different removal methods on invasive crayfish populations: if there is no silver bullet, what is the optimal combination of copper bullets?            

R Houghton

Aberdeen University


Control and management of NICS in the UK: an opinion on a dichotomy                                            

A Stancliffe-Vaughan,

Anglia Ruskin University


The rise and fall of signal crayfish in Sweden – population collapses in introduced NICS                  

L Edsman, Swedish   University of Agricultural Sciences


The costs and benefits of control of non-indigenous crayfish

S Peay

AECON & University of Leeds


Panel and group discussion on session 2 (chair TBC)

11.30am – 12.30pm

Session 3: Ecology and impacts of non-indigenous crayfish  

(Chair: D Holdich)


Crayfish ecomorphology: impacts of signal crayfish on river sediment dynamics and tropic interactions

S Rice

Loughborough University


Indirect impacts of invasive crayfish bioturbation

E Willis-Jones Queen Mary University of London


The temporal and spatial extent of invasive signal crayfish – effects on instream macroinvertebrate communities

K Mathers

Loughborough University


Comparing predatory impacts of native and invasive crayfish using functional responses

N Taylor

University of Leeds

12.30pm - 1.30pm


1.30pm – 1.45pm

Delegates exercise

1.45pm – 3pm

Impact of signal crayfish on fish in headwater streams

D Chadwick & L Eagle, UCL


From tall tales of big fish to trophic cascades: using isotopes to study invasive crayfish biology    

J Grey, Lancaster University / Wild Trout Trust


Predation by Pacifastacus leniusculus on the intra-gravel embryos and emerging fry of Salmo salar

N Edmonds



Panel and group discussion on session 3 (Chair: D Holdich)

3.15pm – 4pm

Session 4: New invaders and biological interactions   (Chair: P Stebbing)


Keynote Parasites and biological invasions:   interactions, parallels and control                                

A Dunn, University of Leeds & Yorkshire Dales   Environment Network


Parasites or not?  Symbiotic branchiobdellids (Annelida:   Clitellata) on invasive signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)

J James

Cardiff University


‘Out with the old and in with the new’ newer invasive species competitively dominant over pre-established counterpart  

R Thomas

Cardiff University


Red swamp crayfish Procambarus
in the UK

A Ellis

4pm - 5pm

Session 5: Looking ahead   (Chair: S Peay)


Feedback from delegates session


Where do we go from here? Discussion session


Conference roundup and Closing remarks


Taking advantage of the conference taking place during the crayfish season, excursions are being arranged to a range of informative sites:

  • White-clawed crayfish Ark site - headwater population
  • White-clawed crayfish successful translocation site
  • Signal crayfish impact site
  • Recent signal crayfish introduction site & current ark site project




Booking Options


Full Conference Package ‘Early Bird Price’ 

Includes all conference sessions, excursions, 2 nights’ full board accommodation &   conference dinner. Discounted price for bookings received before the end of 15/03/15. (extended from 28/02)


Full Conference Package

Includes all conference sessions, excursions, 2 nights’ full board accommodation &   conference dinner.  Price for bookings received from 16/03/15.


Conference: Tuesday only 

Includes conference sessions & excursions on Tuesday 18th, refreshments   & lunch


Conference: Wednesday only

Includes conference sessions on Wednesday 19th, refreshments & lunch


Accommodation Only

(for accompanying persons) Includes 2 nights’   accommodation plus meals and Conference Dinner


Conference Dinner

Drinks reception and Conference Dinner on the evening of Tuesday 18th.

(Already included in ‘full conference’ and ‘accommodation only’ packages)



Fees may be paid for on-line via credit or debit card. There is also the option to request an invoice first and to pay by bacs or cheque. 

Booking closed



A number of subsidised places have been set aside to enable students in full-time education to attend this conference.  The organising committee will consider all applications for subsidised places, and will allocate as space and costs allow.  The deadline for applications expired on 30/04/15


Venue Information

Gigg School















Giggleswick School s a day and boarding school situated in the stunning rural location of the Yorkshire Dales, within walking distance of the market town of Settle, and just over an hour from both Leeds and Manchester.  Founded in 1512, in a building on half an acre next to the village Church, it has been much extended over the years, most recently with a new dining hall, new sports hall and theatre.

The Richard Whiteley Theatre will be the venue for the conference proceedings. The theatre opened in 2010, following extensive conversion into a state of the art multi-purpose performing arts venue.  Built on the legacy of the former pupil & Governor Richard Whiteley the Theatre operates a wide programme of events including, theatre, film and music targeted at both pupils of the school and the wider community.

Giggleswick School Website


We will be using three of the school boarding houses for accommodation. Most rooms are single with some twin and larger rooms available, offering basic facilities. Bathroom facilities are shared. Each ‘house’ also has sitting room areas and basic kitchen facilities.


Please note that all accommodation is up at least one flight of stairs. If you require a room with easier access, please get in touch. Other areas of the school (theatre, dining room) are fully accessible. 


All meals (including the Conference Dinner) are provided by the excellent catering department at the school, including a full lunch and morning/afternoon refreshments.  Evening meal on the Monday evening is at 6.30pm.

Vegetarian and other dietary preferences/allergies are catered for, with prior notification.

Getting There

Giggleswick School is located in Giggleswick, which is adjacent to Settle. Directions to the school can be found at:  Directions.

The post code is: BD24 0DE

By Rail

There are railway stations at Settle (Leeds-Carlisle line) and Giggleswick (Leeds-Lancaster line), though services are limited! Both are approx. 15-20 mins walk from Giggleswick School.

Taxis should be booked in advance as they do not wait at the station.

Call:        Settle Taxis: 01729 822219
Stainforth Private Hire: 01729 824888

If there is sufficient demand, we will look into organising minibus transport to meet specific trains.

By Bus

Bus service details at: Buses

Other accommodation options

There are plenty of options for organising your own accommodation – a selection of local hotel and guest house accommodation is listed below. There are also numerous holiday cottages in the area - why not plan a week’s break in this fabulous area?

Hotel Accommodation

Harts Head, Giggleswick

Craven Arms, Giggleswick           

The Lion, Settle

The Black Horse, Giggleswick   01729-822506

The Traddock, Austwick       

The Falcon Manor, Settle

The Coniston Hotel, Nr Skipton


Selected B&B Accommodation

Valleymead, Giggleswick

Settle Lodge, Settle

Tipperthwaite Barn, Giggleswick

No3, Settle          

Provender House, Nr. Giggleswick              

King William the Fourth Guest House, Settle

Oast Guest House, Settle

Camping/Caravan Sites

Kinght Stainforth, Stainforth

Dalesbrige, Austwick





Call for Papers

The scientific committee will be pleased to receive offers of presentations.

The general themes for the conference are:

•       Crayfish ecology, behaviour & distribution

•       Impacts of non-native species

•       Eradication or control of invasive crayfish

•       Invasion processes and aquatic biosecurity

•       Conservation management

•       Impacts of WFD, the Catchment based approach

•       Policy and legislation; horizon scanning

Abstracts should include the following information:

•       Title of the paper

•       Authors’ full names and affiliation.

•       Name, address and e-mail address of the presenting author

•       150 – 250 word abstract on the paper’s content

•       Preference for an oral (supported by powerpoint) or poster presentation

The committee will review all submissions and will aim to ensure a good balance of topics.

The deadline for offers of papers expired on 30/04/15