Publications

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has published and commissioned a number of publications, which can be downloaded below.

Depressed river mussel

The depressed (or compressed) river mussel Pseudanadonta complanata is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species and is associated with large floodplain rivers and canals. Evidence so far points to a major reduction in the range and status of this species in Staffordshire and the UK as a whole. River mussels are keystone species which, as filter feeders, are crucial for the health of our watercourses and waterways.

Download the publication: Surveys for the Depressed River Mussel Pseudanodonta complanata at selected locations in Staffordshire (July 2011), Dr. M. J. Willing, A report for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust Nick Mott (Project Officer)

Farming Floodplains for the Future

Farming Floodplains for the Future was an important national pilot project. Its aim was to understand, through delivery, how the farmed landscape can be viably managed in ways that reduce flood risk downstream, whilst enhancing the natural environment. A partnership project hosted by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, it was funded by Defra through its Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Innovation Fund.

Download the final report: Farming Floodplains for the Future Final Report 2007 - 2010, Matt Jones, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Download case studies, issues and toolkits here

Headwater streams

Headwater streams are easily overlooked. However, these secretive watercourses, and the springs, flushes and seepage wetlands that feed them, are extremely important for a range of specially adapted species. The Trust has been continuing its study of these fascinating habitats through its Headwaters project. Funding for this work has been provided by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Download the publication: Headwater Streams of the Churnet Valley, An assessment of the invertebrate interest, Andy Jukes, A report for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust 24/11/2011

Logjammer hoverfly

Staffordshire Wildlife Trust has undertaken an in-depth study of a Nationally Scarce, Red Data Book hoverfly species called Chalcosyrphus eunotus. This superb animal has been fondly nicknamed the 'logjammer hoverfly', due to its habit of perching on log jams and woody debris in stream channels. The study has looked into the species' close association with saturated coarse woody debris in clean woodland streams. New light has been shed on the larval ecology, mating habits and behaviour of C eunotus. The study is continuing via Staffordshire Wildlife Trust's Headwater Streams Project with funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and HDH Wills Charitable Trust.

Download the publications: Chalcosyrphus eunotus, a Red Data Book hoverfly: Its status, distribution, ecology and conservation, Andy Jukes; Appendix to report; Chalcosyrphus eunotus – Year 2 Investigation into species’ mobility and metapopulations, Andy Jukes

River braiding

The Trust's Croxall Lakes nature reserve was previously a Redland (now Lafarge Aggregates) sand and gravel quarry until the late 1980s. The restoration was dominated by a large, deep, rectangular sailing lake. Approximately 30 per cent of the site was infilled with pulverished fuel ash from Drakelow Power Station. The National Forest Company purchased the site as a new nature reserve in 2000 and then sold the majority of the holding to Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. Just one other river widening or “braiding” project has been carried out in the UK.

Download the publications: River Braiding and Reedbed Creation, Cropxall Lakes, Staffordshire, Nick Mott, Geomorphological Assessment of channel
widening downstream of the confluence of the River Trent and the River Tame, JBA Project Manager George Heritage

River rehabilitation and Large Woody Debris

River management is entering a new phase; one where natural processes such as erosion and deposition are left unchecked; one where rivers and streams are provided with space to choose their own pathways and channel shapes. Large Woody Debris (LWD) has an important role to play in helping to speed up these processes.

Download the publication: Fish Live in Trees Too: River Rehabilitation and Large Woody Debris, Nick Mott, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

River restoration

In October 2012 a river rehabilitation scheme was completed on the Trent at the Catton Hall estate near Croxall. River islands and side bars were created using live willow trees and a series of features including shoals, riffles, chutes, backwaters and pools through the introduction of two thousand cubic metres of gravels.

Funding for this exciting work was provided by Defra to assist with targets within the EU Water Framework Directive. The project was supported by the Central Rivers Initiative and its partners.

We aim to use the scheme as a further demonstration site to inspire other organisations, landowners, managers and mineral companies to undertake similar work at appropriate locations elsewhere in the UK. Ongoing monitoring is being carried out by the University of Salford, Central Rivers and Trust staff. Results will be measured against baseline surveys carried out prior to the works.

Download the publication: River Trent at the Catton Hall Estate - Hydromorphic Audit and Appraisal, JBA Project Manager Seb Bentley

Staffordshire Flora

This is the first fully documented Flora for Staffordshire, and is an essential reference for everyone interested in the natural history of Staffordshire, including professional ecologists, land managers, amateur naturalists, botanists and students.

Full details: The Flora of Staffordshire, by John E. Hawksford & Ian J. Hopkins, with David Cadman, Roger N. Hill, Sue Lawley, Andrew Leak, Elaine Radford, John R. Reynolds and Don Steward
Published by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
A4 hardcover | Over 400 pages including 100 colour
ISBN 978-0-9549385-2-9
PRICE £45 (plus £8.50 P&P unless purchased from the Wolseley Centre)

Contains:
• beautifully illustrated colour section covering the major habitats, geology and climate
• data analysis
• separate colour map overlay for key features.
• 2600 taxa are covered in written accounts
• over 1000 taxa with 2 x 2 km square (tetrad) distribution maps
• comprehensive history of botanical recording in Staffordshire
• covers vice-county 39, including all the administrative county plus part of the Black Country and part of Wyre Forest

Download errors and omissions: Staffordshire Flora update no. 1; Updated thematic map; Updated boundary map; New overlay

White-clawed crayfish

Just one crayfish species is native to the British Isles and Ireland: the white-clawed crayfish.

The name ‘crayfish’ is thought to derive from the Old French word for ‘crevice’. This is apt as these fascinating creatures hide in various nooks and crannies during the day and then come out to forage at night. Its menu is unfussy: it will eat pretty much whatever it can get its claws into including dead fish, insects, plants, detritus and one another. It therefore has an important role to play in cleaning up our freshwater environments. Its presence is generally a good indication of a healthy and balanced wetland habitat.

Prior to the 1970s the white-clawed crayfish was common and widely distributed across much of England, Wales, Ireland and Europe. Since then the population has suffered a catastrophic decline. There is now genuine concern over its future.

For more information on white-clawed crayfish and advice on how to help stop the spread of crayfish plague, download the publication: White-clawed crayfish, Nick Mott, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust

Managing woody debris in rivers, streams and floodplains

This booklet aims to promote best practice to farmers, riparian landowners, site managers, drainage boards, anglers, foresters, local authorities, highways engineers, water policy makers, teachers, students and the general public.

Branches, large limbs, root boles or entire trees that have fallen into rivers are commonly referred to as Large Woody Debris (LWD). Accumulations of smaller branches, twigs and leaf litter are known as Coarse Woody Debris (CWD).

Woody debris is a vital component of our watercourses and its removal can severely degrade their health. The positive ecological contribution of LWD has often been overlooked or downplayed, while impacts on water flow and erosion have been misunderstood or exaggerated. This booklet seeks to dispel some of the myths and summarise the latest thinking.

Download the publication: Managing Woody Debris in Rivers, Streams and Floodplains, Nick Mott, Staffordshire Wildlife Trust