Freshwater Pearl Mussel Project

Freshwater Pearl Mussel Project

Project Animal(s) : Freshwater Pearl Mussel
Project Category : Mollusks
Project Region : Europe
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

Freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) were formerly widespread in England and Wales, but currently, the only remaining populations in Southern England are on the Taw and the Torridge, and in very low numbers.

On top of this, these populations are in serious decline and are not thought to have bred successfully since the 1960s.

By working with local communities, improving water quality and establishing a breeding programme, this project is working to safeguard the recovery of Devon’s last remaining mussel populations and England’s only lowland populations. The ‘Restoring Freshwater Mussel Rivers in England’ project is led nationally by the Freshwater Biological Association and funded by Biffa Award.

This project focuses on the River Torridge in North Devon and seeks to achieve one key aim – to safeguard the future of some of the most important freshwater pearl mussel populations remaining in England through river restoration, engagement of local communities and captive breeding.


Project Agency : Devon Wildlife Trust

Project Agency Contact :

Project Researcher : Izzy Moser

Project Researcher Contact :

Additional Information :

This project is part of the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area landscape scale programme. Other partners in the project include: the North Devon Biosphere, the Environment Agency, Tarka Country Trust and Westcountry Rivers Trust.