Argus Ecology

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Water Vole

Water vole are protected under UK legislation only, following a very steep decline in their population levels. They occur along usually slow flowing watercourses; although typically associated with lowland rural landscapes, they are now absent from many apparently suitable areas, and are just as likely to occur in urban or upland areas.

Partial protection under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act was upgraded to full protection in 2008 under Schedule 5 of the Act. As protected species, they are a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

Water vole may be vulnerable to developments directly affecting watercourses, including diversion of streams, culverting, or installation of new drains and headwalls to stream banks.

Argus Ecology have trained and experienced staff in the survey, identification and population assessment of water voles along watercourses, in some cases identifying previously overlooked and significant populations. We have also carried out mitigation works involving trapping and successful translocation of water voles to a specially created ditch system, where they maintained and increased their population size.

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