Friday, 16 August 2019

Bridge Repair: Good Practice

 Shropshire Council's ecological advisor, Rob Mileto

 Helium balloon I fished out of the brook - please don't release them into the air!

I'm pleased to report that, before undertaking repair work to the bridge at White Lion Meadow car park, Shropshire Council asked the advice of a professional ecologist so he could assess the impact on the water voles. He contacted the Whitchurch Water Vole Group to ask if we had any thoughts, and I was sent to meet him for a chat.

I showed him where the burrows were sited, and he explained the works listed. We came to some useful compromises that will protect the voles and get the bridge sorted as soon as practically possible. It's terrific when people take the time to ask and check. They should do by law, of course - water voles are legally protected - but not everyone does.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Suddenly Shy

There's been a sudden drop in sightings - voles much much shyer suddenly, and apparently fewer of them. This could be die to the weasel, or it could be natural dispersal or a combination of both. It is a pattern I see every year, though between mid August and September. There are still plenty of fresh droppings and feeding around so I'm not too worried.

Thursday, 8 August 2019


White Lion Meadow (Tesco) vole

 Weasel or stoat watching me at Edgeley Road. Below, Edgeley Road water voles.

Of course stoats and weasels both eat water voles, so I had mixed feelings when this one stepped out of the nettles. However, they are native predators so shouldn't do too much damage. I've seen both stoats and weasels on this site before, as well as otters and polecats (check the tags on the right for previous posts)

Monday, 5 August 2019

A Good Mix of Ages

A good selection of sizes and ages in circulation at the moment. The photos immediately above show a very young baby water vole, probably only a few days out of the nest and noticeably darker and skinnier than the adults and juveniles pictured elsewhere.

Thursday, 1 August 2019


Much Fuzziness

I watched this water vole in the top four pictures dry itself and groom extensively. Its fur is really thick and water-repellent, but has to be kept in good order by lots of grooming,