Where is Ratty?

16 Apr

I was talking to someone on the Cliff a few days ago and mentioned I had seen Water Voles a few times over the years and it struck me that I haven’t seen any for probably 2 years. Water Voles are never easy to spot – all you typically see is the splash as they dive when they see you.

Water Voles (aka Ratty in The Wind In The Willows) only live around 5 months although they can live over 2 years in captivity. They dig quite extensive borrows along river banks and are quite prolific breeders.

Overall they are in long term decline and have disappeared from some 94% of their original range. The main culprit is the introduced American Mink which a voracious hunter and quite capable of getting into the Water Voles burrows. The Mink combined with damaged river banks and lower quality water have all contributed to a drastic decline in this wonderful little animal.

If anyone does see one please do let me know. The last one I saw was just downstream of  the pond on the Cliff.

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3 Responses to “Where is Ratty?”

  1. brookendratty April 17, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    Used to have 7 watervoles in our garden. They moved out when our terrier moved in. Last summer they were spotted up stream in Brookend, watching out anxiously for their return. You may notice my personal interest.

  2. brookendratty April 17, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Hoping for thei return to Brookend soon.

  3. Nick H May 24, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Was out walking the dog at 9.00pm on Wednesday 23rd May and a water vole swam right by me. I was near the footbridge over the river, nearest to Stretchline. My first in Sherston!

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