Thursday, 2 September 2010

Saddlers Walk: Masses of Water Voles

Two (fighting) voles in the field off Edgeley Road
Below, water vole signs at the back of Queensway

The field at the end of Hatton Way, behind Queensway/Saddlers Walk. Ditch is at the treeline.
Or I should say, masses of poo. I don't think I've ever seen so many latrines in such a short distance, so the ditch must be home to a lot of water voles (latrines mark territories of breeding females). Stacks of feeding, too. You'd be lucky to get an actual sighting here, though, as the vegetation's mad and the water scant, hardly enough to swim in even for a small vole. But it clearly suits the voles' requirements.
I make no apologies for posting all the photos I took because this field's being considered by Shropshire Council for development, and this is clearly another very important Whitchurch colony.


Richard said...

So water voles are a legally protected species, but it makes me wonder what the point of any of this legislation and conservation status is, if it can be just swept aside for yet more developments.
How can we as a nation comment on other countries development - whether it's rainforest deforestation or species extinction for alternative medicine - when we quite happily ignore our own rules?

Sorry, this comment has turned into a bit of rant, I do apologise. Still great photos and keep up with campaigning.

Good luck!!

Kate said...

Apparently the initial developers surveys *have* identified water vole signs, and the council's biodiversity bod has been out and had a look too. So this is encouraging.

I suppose my default pessimism comes from the council planning dept's track record: I can think of two occasions straight off where the council have been told water voles were present on site and they did nothing to ensure they were protected (the building of the Lidl store, and a development off Liverpool Road). I can't understand why some councils/developers get massive fines for this and others aren't touched.

Suffice it to say I am watching the current round of planning consultations very carefully, and will be prepared to take legal action if I think it's necessary. Hope very much it isn't.