Brilliant afternoon investigating ditches with Pete Bowyer, who's assistant site manager for the Fenns, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR. The area's managed overall by the Countryside Council for Wales and Natural England.
It's a fantastic area for all sorts of wildlife, and though we didn't find any conclusive evidence of water voles (a possible burrow, some possible feeding) we did find stacks of rodent activity, mainly field vole. In fact, one jumped over my hand as I was examining a latrine! And these little animals provide food for so many other creatures.
The plan is to go back in the spring, when there are more field signs but before the vegetation's got too lush. Dr Joan Daniels was showing me before we set out how many ditches across the mosses have water voles in them; it's all very encouraging. If we can just keep the mink at bay.