Restoring Hope for Water Voles
The Chalk Stream and Wetlands Meadows project to extend the habitat for local populations of water voles at Restore Hope, Latimer, has already begun but more needs to be done!
But how does this help the water voles?
There are two known populations in the area, one just downstream of the restoration site and the other just above it and the objective is to improve the area between so that the two groups can expand and ultimately inter-breed. If we can support the growth of a larger water vole population with greater genetic diversity and an increased range, it will be far more resilient to external impacts from predators, pollution and climate change. By increasing the light levels reaching the channel we hope to encourage the growth of in-channel and marginal vegetation which will provide both populations with the immediate benefit of additional sources of food & shelter. And later this year we would like volunteers to be donning waders and work in the channel providing opportunities for water voles to burrow and establish permanent populations.
And we haven’t forgotten the other river users. By improving the character of this part of the chalk stream, we will also be supporting the native insects, fish and birds, and we will be creating a more attractive and natural looking channel that can be appreciated by everyone who visits Restore Hope, Latimer.
A chalk stream, far-reaching valley views, a tucked-away Manor House and the mewing of red kites for company on this circular Chess Valley walk.
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