The water vole is recognised as one of the UK’s most threatened mammals and their population has declined by 90% in the past 20 years. Widespread loss and fragmentation of wetland habitat are the main causes of this decline, and now predation by the introduced american mink is a huge threat, causing local extinctions.
The water vole is fully protected in England and Wales and it is an offence to capture, injure and kill them, or to disturb, damage, destroy or obstruct their resting or breeding places.
Although now rare, water voles are still fairly widespread and will occur in places previously considered unsuitable, such as wild uplands and uninviting urban habitats.
Our team at OpenSpace have experience using the specialist survey techniques to conduct your water vole survey and, if they are present, ensure your development avoids harm and impact.
Where there is no alternative, exceptions can be authorised by gaining an EPSM licence. We can help you gain the EPSM licence and provide the tailored mitigation necessary. Mitigation often involves habitat creation/enhancement works.
If you have any queries regarding water vole surveys, then call us on 01228 711841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will be happy to advise and we can provide a no obligation quote if you wish.