Saturday, 5 October 2019

Three Voles and a Mouse

We're gearing up for winter and the water voles going underground, but I'm still getting sightings at White Lion Meadow car park, sometimes two at a time. I also found this feisty wood mouse sheltering under some rubbish.

Sunday, 22 September 2019

The Environment Agency

White Lion Meadow and Timber Yard voles and latrines.

The strimming that the Environment Agency have done along the banks of the Staggs Brook looks dramatic, but it's been carefully managed with water voles in mind. The EA contacted us beforehand to discuss what they were going to do and ask if we had any thoughts, and then they did this cutting where they leave one bank alone completely and reduce the vegetation on the other, but crucially leaving a margin of cover along the water's edge. If only all habitat management was this sensitive and informed.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Drawing to a Close

I may not get many more sightings at Edgeley Road now. The voles there tend to go invisible towards the end of September. But I generally see voles at White Lion Meadow car park through October, even occasionally into November. As usual this blog will, like the voles, go into semi-hibernation during the months December and January because there won't be much to report. 

Sunday, 8 September 2019

White Lion Meadow

In spite of the rubbish that's continually thrown into the brook by Tesco, the voles manage to navigate their way up and down. Here they have been using the council's plastic barrier (one of two) as a latrine. Incidentally, we always say that water vole droppings are "rounded at both ends", but this one hasn't read the handbook.

The bottom photo is a shy Edgeley Road vole.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

While We Wait

I'm finding it very hard, going down to the field and knowing it's probably the last year I'll be able to photograph voles there.

This is a youngster, not a baby but not fully grown.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Very Sad Day

I knew this day would come eventually, but it was with a heavy heart I saw the planning application to build on the field where the water voles live. There's a full ecological report which outlines what's best for the water voles and stresses that they have legal protection, and the plan above does leave a buffer zone around the brook. But will the developers adhere to the regulations? In particular, will they require new householders not to own cats, as the ecological report advises? And what will happen to the pair of barn owls that live in the field? I can't see how they'll survive. I'm relieved to see Shropshire Wildlife Trust involved with post-building management, at least, and I myself will be up to the field regularly to check no one's breaking any laws.But I can't pretend it's not a blow to lose such a wonderful space for nature.