Water voles are fully protected under UK law and it is an offence to deliberately capture, injure or kill them or to damage, destroy or obstruct their breeding or resting places.
Water vole surveys are seasonally constrained, with the optimal time being from April to September.
If a proposed development will affect water vole’s or their habitat it is best to modify the scheme design so that water vole habitat can be maintained in situ, or steps taken to minimise damage to water vole habitat.
If this is not possible and the habitats or animals will be affected, a conservation licence will be required from the statutory agency (Countryside Council for Wales or Natural England). In cases where the loss of water vole habitat is unavoidable, mitigation may include the ‘exclusion’ of the animals from the development area, in addition to habitat creation and restoration.
Our ecologists have extensive experience in surveying and designing mitigation for water vole and can advise you on survey methodology, legal protection, mitigation options and the timing of development works.
For more information call us on 029 2041 0036.Water Voles: The Law in Practice