If you think you have spotted a water vole the first thing you should do is a notify the appropriate conservation body or authority such as the Wildlife Trust, RSPB, NBN Gateway, Environment Agency, The Biological Records Centre, Natural England or Local Authority. These organisations will be able to give advice on how to move forward with a project.
When working on canals it can be important to follow these steps before and during a project to ensure you do not breach The Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981).
Photo: Typical water vole environment
You should record the presence of protected species on a national database. This can done by contacting the local Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO). Alternatively you can record online at the National Biodiversity Network. You should also alert the appropriate land owner, council and or management body to the presence and location of this species.