A ST Mary Bourne conservation trust is at the heart of efforts to save Britain's last remaining native crayfish from extinction.

The Vitacress Conservation Trust has teamed up with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to maintain the crayfish's chalkstream habitat, which is prominent along the River Itchen and essential for their survival.

White-clawed crayfish, Britain's only native species, could be extinct within the next 30 years. In the UK their population has been slashed by 95 per cent because of pollution, incesticides and diseases carried by other species of crayfish.

They were declared globally endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2010.

Dr Ben Rushbrook, of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust said: 'We are very grateful to the Vitacress Conservation Trust for funding this essential work. This partnership represents a very important step forward in increasing the likelihood of ensuring the long-term survival of this species in Hampshire.”

The Vitacress Conservation Trust joins the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Bristol Zoological Society as key partners supporting the Southern Chalkstreams Project.