PBA Applied Ecology
PBA Applied Ecology

Freshwater Pearl Mussels

PBA Applied Ecology have provided Freshwater Pearl Mussel (FWPM) surveys within European protected sites designated for FWPM. We have vast experience in working in European protected sites producing site specific deliverable FWPM mitigation plans. PBA has undertaken SSSI & SAC FWPM habitat restoration projects including, habitat suitability, water chemistry analysis and substrate monitoring. 

What services do we offer?


A Natural England licence is required to survey FWPM and guidance on competence for survey should be followed. Surveys should be undertaken at low flow with good visibility and are generally undertaken between April and October.

Surveys will methodically check the riverbed for the presence of FWPM using an aquatic bathyscope, within an area chosen to suit the projects impacts.

Reports and mitigation plans:

FWPM surveys provide essential information for technical reports and mitigation plans that are required for development projects that could affect FWPM and their habitats, as part of getting planning permission or a mitigation licence.

Restoration plans & suitability assessment:

The undertaking of several monitoring protocols and surveys (including fish surveys) can provide information on the physical and chemical characteristics of a watercourses. These in turn can contribute towards future and condition assessments of a watercourse, in terms of sustaining a healthy recruiting population of FWPM.

Legislation protecting of Freshwater Pearl Mussels

FWPM are listed under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), and Annexes II and V of the EC Habitats Directive. FWPM are also a priority species in the UK’s Biodiversity Action Plan (JNCC, 1995). The legislation protects the species from reckless or intentional disturbance, intentional killing, capture, taking, destroying, injury or habitat destruction. The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. If you’re found guilty of an offence you could get an unlimited fine and up to 6 months in prison.

If you have any queries regarding the services your project may require, please contact our Aquatic team specialists.