01285 610145 (Cirencester) | 029 2002 2320 (Caerphilly)
Wales and the South West

Water Vole Surveys

Water Vole Surveys

 

Wildwood Ecology can undertake a survey of your land (or proposed land purchase) for water voles, as part of a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal. Detailed subsequent surveys to inform appropriate levels of mitigation or compensation for a development strategy can also be performed.

Water vole surveys methods include searches for signs of water vole activity and presence (facaes, latrines, feeding stations, burrows, lawns, nests, footprints, and runways).

For further information on our water vole or other protected species surveys, call us on 029 2002 2320.

Water Vole legislation and protection

Water voles are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) in Wales and England, making it illegal to:

  • Intentional kill, injure, or take a water vole
  • Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy, or obstruct access to any structure or place used by a water vole for shelter or protection, or disturb a water vole occupying such a place

The water vole is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) priority species.

Key facts – Water Voles

The Water vole, Arvicola amphibius, is patchily distributed throughout the UK. They have suffered massive declines in population numbers over the past century due to loss of habitat, exacerbated by predation from the introduced American mink.

They are semi-aquatic rodents, and usually live for no more than three years. They live in burrows dug into the banks of calm streams, rivers, and ditch systems, but also within other water bodies such as reed beds. They mainly feed on the stems and leaves of waterside plants, but will also fruits, roots, bark, and bulbs.

Water voles prefer sites with swathes of riparian vegetation (tall grasses, rushes, sedges, reeds) providing cover and food, with easily-penetrable banks, and slow flowing relatively-deep water.