The effect Water Voles have on Flood Alleviation Schemes

Challenge

We have been working with the Environment Agency to deliver flood alleviation works at various sites across Lincolnshire.

Water Vole were considered a key challenge for the scheme, so we have been out surveying for them to determine their presence/absence and plan for any mitigation required.

Water Vole are a protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). They are protected against intentional killing, capture or injury and intentional or reckless disturbance, obstruction, damage or destruction or their burrows. Consideration for this species is therefore required for development works that could impact upon them.

Solution

Two Water Vole surveys were planned for the 2017 Water Vole survey season which runs from mid-April to the end of September.

Field signs were searched for along the banks where works are proposed and an assessment was made of the suitability of the habitat for Water Voles. The most important diagnostic field signs for Water Voles is the presence of latrine sites. Other important field signs include the presence of burrows, feeding sites and footprints.

Benefit

The Environment Agency can now plan and optimise their flood alleviation works around the location of Water Vole burrows. This reduces the negative impact of the works on Water Vole. It also allows us to assess the need for mitigation licenses for the works and remain legally compliant.

Want to know more?

Contact Rob Harrison to find out more about this specific project.



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