Coventry & Warwickshire

Ensor's Pool, Nuneaton, 'ark' for threatened crayfish

A flooded former clay pit in Warwickshire could play a vital role in saving one of Britain's most endangered species.

The British crayfish is being wiped out by disease and foreign species.

Ensor's Pool in Nuneaton contains more than 50,000 native crayfish which are cut off from these problems.

Dr Stefan Bodnar, a conservation officer, said: "It's a safety population - it's like creating an ark."

It is hoped that small populations from Ensor's Pool will be moved into similar sites elsewhere in the county.

The native species is under threat from the American signal crayfish which is bigger and more aggressive.

The signal crayfish also carries a fungus known as crayfish plague which kills the British species.

Dr Bodnar, who works for Birmingham City Council, said: "This is one of four main populations in the UK and strangely enough it's surrounded by all this urbanisation and is really in an area that you wouldn't expect to find crayfish."

The pool was once a clay pit serving a nearby colliery and brick works and is now a site of special scientific interest.

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