Cattle and the freshwater pearl mussel

The Geography and Environment postgraduate blog

It was Sunday 22nd July around 19:30. I was sitting down to play some FIFA 12 on my flatmates Xbox 360 when my friend Cherith text me. “I’m watching Countryfile and they say that cattle are killing freshwater mussels in the River Clun”. By the time I’d paused the game and switched over to BBC1, Matt Baker was saying something insightful about gliders “They’re very white!” Yes Matt, yes they are.

A cow ramp

The freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) is a pretty extraordinary mollusc. You can read all about it on Wikipedia but I’ll pull out the key facts:

Now my research into the effects of cattle grazing upon chalk streams hasn’t looked at the pressures influencing populations…

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About Trevor Bond

A Geomorphology Technical Officer at the Environment Agency. All opinions expressed herein are my own and do not necessary reflect the views of my employer.
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