Water voles are legally protected in the UK and have undergone a large and rapid population decline. The species is closely associated with watercourses so developments in or near to streams, drains and rivers should be assessed for their potential to support water voles based on key features such as vegetation, channel characteristics, and water flow and depth.
Suitable watercourses would be subject to detailed surveys of banks both upstream and downstream from the development to search for evidence of water voles such as burrows, droppings, latrines, footprints, and feeding remains. This information enables our ecologists to estimate water vole population size and distribution.
If a development is likely to cause to disturbance or harm to water voles, our ecologists will be able to consult with the relevant authorities (e.g. Natural England) and develop appropriate mitigation, potentially including translocation of animals under licence.
Timing: mid-April to September