Spotted a Water Vole?

What do I do if I spot a Water Vole?

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).

  1. Before beginning a project look into whether water voles have been recorded on site or near the site by contacting your local conservation charity or authority.
  2. Inspect the site for signs of water vole including: feeding signs, latrines, burrows and footprints. Seek advice for a more qualified opinion. If you do find signs report this to the appropriate conservation body and await further advice.
  3. If water voles have only been discovered after development of a site has commenced you can contact the appropriate conservation bodies for advice. All works should be stopped until an appropriate survey has been undertaken and measures taken to protect the water voles on site.
  4. Report back head office or approriate governing body.

Typical water vole environmentPhoto: Typical water vole environment

More Information

Reporting Protected Species

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.