Thursday, 7 August 2008
Crawling with Water Voles
Incredibly productive survey day. Rosie, Jill and I took a quick look down Edward German Drive and found feeding and burrows on the Waymills side, plus this latrine (photo above) directly opposite Griffiths Tool Hire.
Then we went, at the invitation of the landowners, to look at the section of the brook that runs by the railway line after it's passed under Station Road. I knew there were water voles in this stretch because I've seen and photographed them recently (http://staggsbrook.blogspot.com/2008/07/new-area.html ). But the brook here must be stuffed with water voles. Every few paces I found feeding, and there were fresh latrines and active burrows and even footprints, all textbook evidence of a strong water vole colony.
Worryingly, developers want to build a drain right on top of a burrow - where I'm standing in the second photograph down. According to the new protection laws, though ( http://naturalengland.communisis.com/naturalenglandshop/docs/ne86.pdf ) I can't see how this could be allowed. It's something I'll have to look into.