Went to check the rafts and found feeding all along the Prees Branch Canal, plus a lot of droppings on the raft at the Whixall Marina end. I was struck by the variable size of the droppings - it looks as though a whole family of water voles, from the huge to the tiny, has been using this same place as a toilet..
On the way back I stopped at the bridge by Greenfield Farm on Ossage Lane and saw two kingfishers and what might have been a water vole. Worryingly, I read in the local paper that NSDC have given planning permission near here to some people who, a few years back, were fined £3,000 by the EA for polluting a water course with dog excrement.
Obviously this is a development which will need monitoring, as it could prove a real threat to the wildlife in the brook.