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Pearls in peril website image

Look forward to more information on what we are doing to conserve our dramatically declining freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera margaritifera.

Rottal Burn March 2013

Identifying, Planning and Undertaking River Restoration Projects - Sharing Good Practice (SGP) workshop on 23rd & 24th Sept '14, in the upper River South Esk area, in Angus, Scotland.

image at the river Dee - Croy removal

The River Dee Special Area of Conservation (SAC) holds important populations of freshwater pearl mussel and Atlantic salmon. The conservation status of freshwater pearl mussel populations within the river has been assessed as ‘unfavourable, no change’ by SNH.

map of Peril Project river bank restoration locations

Glen Clova and Glen Doll
Temporary disruption from 6th July for 4 to 5 weeks

Mo The Mussel


LIFE NATURE has granted the ‘Pearls in Peril’ (PIP) project a six month extension and we will now continue to 2nd March 2017. PIP has been busy completing all our project actions across sites in Scotland, England and Wales and now has the opportunity to do a bit more.

microscopic glochidia

How do freshwater mussels reproduce? This mini film tells all & how the PiP Project is intervening to boost numbers.

Survey work on the River Dee

Read what the Pearls in Peril project is doing to improve the prospects of the freshwater pearl mussel in the River Dee. 

VHE logo

VHE ‘Pearls in Peril’ project is in the running for a civil engineering award following successful restoration works at River South Esk. Read more at VHE's website.

c) boredomresearch

The PiP team have been invited to contribute to an exciting art project called 'Paisley Pearls'.  See what Mo has to say on the matter @MoTheMussel.

'Scottish Mussel' promo image

"Ritchie is a Glaswegian chancer with low hopes and no prospects. Disillusioned with city life, he goes undercover at a Highland conservation centre to make his fortune as an illegal pearl fisher with the help of his two hapless and accident prone mates, Danny and Fraser.

IUCN NCUK river restoration and biodiversity image

This IUCN NCUK-commissioned report describes the importance of rivers in the UK and Ireland for nature conservation, summarises the damage that rivers have sustained and discusses ways to restore habitats for the benefit of wildlife and human society. 

LIFE logo

See the third and final short video highlighting Pearls in Peril project work on the River Ehen.  It can be viewed @MoTheMussel or by going to the West Cumbria Rivers Trust website where you can view all 3 enjoyable clips. 

ICE Scotland image of PiP work

Improvements made to the River South Esk as part of the Pearls in Peril project were shortlisted for the prestigious Saltire Award.  Find out if we won.

pearl mussels - c) SNH

Read the BBC article about illegal pearl mussel fishing in the Highlands

Woodland Trust logo

Pupils from Braemar Primary School planted trees at a tributary of the River Dee. They planted rowan and hazel on the Invercauld Estate during a day led by The River Dee Trust.  Read their story at the Woodland Trust website .

JNCC logo

Then look no further than JNCC's 'Inspiring Stories'!

WCRT logo

This is the first in a series of talks to be hosted by the West Cumbria Rivers Trust.  The talk is by Ian Winfield from the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology on “The fall and rise of Vendace in Bassenthwaite Lake”.  This rare and special species of fish was thought to be extinct until its recent reappearance.


As part of the Pearls in Peril project, the Ness and Beauly Fisheries Trust have managed to successfully encyst a number of young salmon and trout with juvenile mussels.  Go to the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board Facebook page to find out more.

mo the mussel

Mo The Mussel has been recognised by the European Commission as a great public relations tool.  Read the praise for Mo and others at the LIFE programme website.

youtube screen shot

Visit SNH's YouTube channel 'ScotNaturalHeritage1' or click on this link - Pearls in Peril YouTube video - to watch our brand new video about work undertaken by the project.

RRC logo

PiP came 1st in the 'Partnership & Multiple Benefit Project' category of the 2017 UK River Prize & Nigel Holmes Trophy.  Visit the RRC website to learn more about the prize and to read about the other finalists.