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Cotswold River Restoration – Saving the Cotswold Water Vole
Two surveys conducted by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust in 1978/79, and then in 1997/98 recorded a staggering 83% decline in water vole number in the county. In 2009, the Trust conducted a survey on sections of the rivers Churn, Coln, Windrush, Leach, Dikler and the Slaughter Brook. Of the 22 parishes investigated, 19 were found to still support water voles despite this massive county-wide decline. Whilst this might appear to be encouraging news, the populations we found were so tiny and completely cut off from one another, they simply won’t survive without help. The loss and damage of their habitat, and the ferocious predation by the non-native American mink has pushed the water vole to the very edge of survival.
Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust is undertaking a 4 year programme working with Cotswolds landowners to control mink, improve the river habitat and support the local people to take the water vole’s needs into account when going about their daily lives and businesses. This programme will also support a whole range of other riparian species water shrew, otter, kingfisher, brown trout, dragonfly, damselfly, water crowfoot, caddis fly, dipper, bullhead and the white clawed crayfish.
Amount Sought:£435,000 of a target £470,000 in funding has already been secured. An appeal for the remaining £45,000 is underway.
For more information please visit www.gloucesterwildlifetrust.co.uk or call Lynn Toon on 01452 383333