Immortalised as Ratty in The Wind in the Willows, this well-loved and once common mammal has suffered a massive decline in numbers in recent years. This has been due to habitat loss and predation by American mink, among other factors. It now has full legal protection in the UK, as does it’s habitat. The Stour Catchment is thought to be a major stronghold for water vole, with an important population on the Lower Stour Marshes where it thrives in networks of drainage dithes. It can also be found on rivers and streams. KSCP have been working on initiatives to conserve this key species for many years, including working with landowners to improve watercourse management for water voles and control mink.
We have produced a guide to managing land for water voles: