Barnsley Biodiversity Action Plan. Post-15 BAP. Updated to 2023.




White-clawed Crayfish Distribution

In Barnsley, White-clawed Crayfish have been found up to recent years in Cawthorne Dike / Daking Brook, a tributary to the river Dearne which is fed by streams in the Gunthwaite area between Upper Denby and Ingbirchworth.

White-clawed Crayfish are still present in the area of Gunthwaite Dam and Rons Cliff Dike, linked to Daking Brook, a Local Wildlife Site.

Another White-clawed Crayfish population has been recorded in Bretton Lake but Signal Crayfish are already present.

No White-Clawed Crayfish have been recorded recently elsewhere in Barnsley.

River Don catchment

Bretton Lake


Daking Brook /Cawthorne Dyke–

River Dearne catchment

Gunthwaite Dam / Rons Cliff Dyke


It is illegal to catch or handle native or non-native crayfish without a licence.

White-clawed Crayfish

Signal Crayfish are extending their range threatening the existence of the native crayfish populations; they were recorded in Cawthorne Dyke in 2010, and more recently upstream of Cannon Hall in Daking Brook.

No White-clawed Crayfish have been recorded in the upper reaches of the river Don in the Barnsley borough but Signal Crayfish have now been recorded there and in the Dearne from Bretton Lakes to Lundwood; it is assumed that both rivers are completely infested with the invasive species.

The population in Bretton Ponds may already have been wiped out and it is likely that the population in the upper reaches of the Daking Brook catchment will die out unless Research & Development catches up very quickly.