Water vole population thriving in Fenland

PROTECTION of the water vole, Britain s most endangered mammal, has been met with delight at a Fenland centre where its population is thriving. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, in Welney, is a popular place for visitors to catch glimpses of the secretive

PROTECTION of the water vole, Britain's most endangered mammal, has been met with delight at a Fenland centre where its population is thriving.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, in Welney, is a popular place for visitors to catch glimpses of the secretive creatures on the reserve in the summer.

The Government gave full legal protection to the water vole last week, meaning they cannot be killed, injured or taken from the wild.

Police will also have the power to prosecute where water voles have been deliberately persecuted.

Debbie Pain, director of conservation at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, welcomed the measures.

She said: "Water voles have suffered the most dramatic decline of any British mammal. Over the last century numbers have plummeted to a tiny fraction and they are completely gone from many areas where they were once common.

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"So we're delighted with news that they will get proper protection. It makes the law much clearer for people who manage land and it gives the police the power to deal with people who deliberately kill water voles.