A classically vole-cut piece of grass floating down the brook.
Helpful tree removal by Griffiths Tool Hire, reducing shading of the banks.
Latrine at Edward German Drive.
Burrows at Edward German Drive.
Stacks of burrows suddenly all along Edward German Drive and White Lion Meadow. I'm also getting regular sightings of water voles, which is a huge relief after the terrible winter we've had, where mortality rates must have been especially high.
But the new Shropshire Site Allocations and Management of Development plans that have just been released are really worrying: http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/planning.nsf/open/5F0348FBB3E36E2F802576F600487DA5
(Scroll down for map of sites in Whitchurch)
Several sites under consideration for building work are key water vole hot spots. And although water voles are a legally protected species, and are supposed to be subject to incredibly strict mitigation measures in the unlikely event they genuinely do have to be disturbed, Shropshire Council's Planning Dept have got a poor record of taking notice of the law here.
According to Water Voles, The Law in Practice: Guidance for Planners and Developers, you are only allowed to catch or transport water voles if you have a special licence - to do otherwise risks a fine, imprisonment, and the confiscating of your vehicles - and there is "no provision under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 for licensing what would otherwise be offences for the purposes of development". The law is very specific. Read more here:
I only hope the evidence both on this blog and that the Whitchurch Water Vole Group has gathered over the years is listened to!