Friday 11 September 2009


Water vole demonstrating good camouflage.

New otter spraint found tonight under the bridge in the Country Park

I'm trying to find out the implications of this sign that's gone up by the White Lion Meadow stretch of the brook. I have to say, it doesn't look good for the water voles, though I've seen rats and bank voles there within the last week. How easily does cyanobacteria spread? What can be done about it?
Update: I've spoken to the Environment Agency and the algae are coming from Blakemere, which is the source of the Staggsbrook, meaning the whole length of the water course will be affected, including Black Park Road, the stretch by the railway bridge near Homebase, the back of Wayland Road, Edward German Drive and the Whitchurch Country Park. If this algae does affect water voles, it's disastrous.
However, there was some positive news. Firstly, barley straw has been put down in the water at Blakemere, which should help purify the water. Secondly, the algae will disappear by itself when the warm weather passes (ie any day now). Thirdly, it's been there for a good few weeks, but I've still been seeing plenty of mammal activity all along the brook, so I don't think the consequences can be devastating. The concentrations are much lower further down the brook, in any case.
Still, I'll pop up to Black Park Road this evening and take a look at what's happening there.

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