Water Voles – back on the Ver

Finally, the news is out that 150 water voles have been released on the River Ver – into an area that they haven’t been seen in for over 30 years. The support from our members and friends has been tremendous with over 50 volunteers playing their part to ensure a seamless release – it’s up to the voles now!

A water vole ready for release. (©Alison Debenham)

From putting out markers a fortnight ago to siting 30 vole pens up and down the river last week, a veritable army of volunteers have been doing their bit to ensure our chalk stream has the wildlife that should be part of a healthy ecosystem. We are also indebted to three friendly landowners and Society members who were happy for the pens to be placed on their land.

A vole going into a pen (© Lee Wood)

The voles were fed for a few days by more volunteer members before being allowed to go free to make homes in the bank or nearby water meadows. All the pens have been collected by more willing hands – a real community effort.

A huge volunteer effort. (© Peter White)

None of this would have been possible without the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust securing funding from the Debs Foundation and the Linder Foundation to pay for the voles and the support of a Water Vole Officer, Josh Kalms. Josh will be keeping an eye on our new rodent residents and training members to survey the river next year to measure the level of success.

The Water Vole Officer in action (© Lee Wood)