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Wolvey Environmental Group

Water Vole in Wolvey Waterways




Picture by kind permission of Dean Eburne (deaneburne@mac.com) of Burbage

Water vole have colonised the banks of various water courses in and around Wolvey. Water voles are on the ‘at risk’ list so we are very lucky to have them in the area… please respect them. They are legally protected and it is an offence to disturb their habitat.

Watch them from a distance, report any sightings to the Wolvey Environmental group and please keep dogs under control and away from ponds, rivers and streams where water voles may be present.

A sudden plop as it jumps into water, this is often the first sign that you have disturbed a Water Vole. The other signs that Water Voles are present are burrows, remains of plants, shredded reed mace etc. which they have been feeding on, larders (stockpiles of food) and latrines of their droppings.

A Water vole is easily recognisable by its chubby face, small ears and glossy round body, unfortunately they sometimes mistaken for brown
rats
 
Water Voles live in burrows along the banks of slow flowing streams, ditches, lakes, ponds and canals. The burrows are accessed via tunnels with entrances at various levels even below the water line to allow them to escape predators and flooding.
 
Water Voles are vegetarian, their main diet being grasses, reed mace and other plants, although they also winter feed on the roots,  tree bark (often seen on willow trees several metres from the ground) and berries.

Although active during the day Water Voles are mostly nocturnal, they do not hibernate... Each colony will have approximately 2-3 breeding females plus several males. Each female can have up to 25 young in a season, most of whom will disperse in order to find new areas to inhabit, away from the original colony as the original habitat will be already occupied. The females will become territorial and drive the youngsters away to find their own pastures.

Back to Old Cricket Field Nature Reserve



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