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Dry rivers kill rare mussels

The best site for the freshwater pearl mussel – supposedly the reason Julius Caesar invaded Britain – has been seriously damaged by low flows in the Cumbrian river.

The mussel beds on the river Ehen in the Lake District, which flows out of Ennerdale Water, are thought to contain more than 100,000 of the molluscs, which are now exceptionally rare, but earlier this month they were significantly affected by lack of water in the river.

The invertebrate conservation trust, Buglife, says that up to 90 per cent of the mussels in the area were killed.