Water voles are protected by UK legislation. It is an offence to kill or injure water voles, or to damage, destroy or obstruct access to places of shelter or protection.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) was updated on April 6th 2008 and the protection which water voles receive was increased to make it an offence to:
- Intentionally kill, injure or take water vole from the wild;
- Possess or control live or dead water voles or derivatives;
- Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place which water voles use for shelter or protection;
- Intentionally or recklessly disturb water voles whilst occupying a structure or place used for that purpose; or
- Sell water voles or offer or expose for sale or transport for sale.
In England and Wales, this Act has been amended by the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CroW), which adds an extra offence, makes species offences arrestable, increases the time limits for some prosecutions and increases penalties. The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 places a duty on Government Departments to have regard for the conservation of biodiversity and maintains lists of species and habitats which are of principal importance for the purposes of conserving biodiversity in England and Wales. These lists include water vole.
Key: Recommended Survey Time Possible Survey Time
What we do
One of our experienced ecological consultants will undertake a walkover water vole survey to assess habitat suitability and record any signs of water vole activity. The water vole survey will include an assessment of any watercourses located within the site and 100 m both upstream and downstream of the site where access allows.
Wale Vole Licence and Mitigation
Should your development be in close proximity to an active burrow/watercourse, a mitigation strategy will be required and a licence may also be required from statutory nature Government Organisations. Middlemarch Environmental can provide detailed assessment/monitoring to determine potential impacts and design appropriate mitigation.
Middlemarch Environmental has a proven track record of successful licence application and mitigation implementation.
In addition to water vole surveys, Middlemarch Environmental has extensive experience of providing cost-effective solutions for all aspects of water vole assessment and mitigation and can also provide the following services:
- Trapping and Translocation
- Design and construction of artificial burrows
- Design and installation of water vole fencing and road underpasses
- Habitat enhancement and creation of wildlife corridors
You can read some case studies describing how we have helped clients with water vole surveys.