NATURE-LOVERS across Worcestershire are invited to join a project to help protect the cute and lovable water vole, which was for many years in danger of extinction locally.

These timid semi-aquatic creatures used to be quite common in Worcestershire but numbers declined dramatically due to habitat degradation, water pollution, rodent poison and a predator – the American mink.

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is starting its national monitoring programme on Sunday April 15 and Worcestershire families are encouraged to join in. Information from the survey will indicate how the water vole is faring locally and where conservation support is needed.

Emily Thomas, from the PTES said: “Volunteers are crucial to helping us collect robust data about the state of our water voles across the UK. We use the data gathered to monitor population trends year on year, which in turn help guide our conservation efforts and inform us where action is needed most.”

Last year volunteers collected data from 222 sites across England, Scotland and Wales with positive sites ranging from Cornwall to the Highlands and Suffolk to Anglesey. However there are gaps in the survey including parts of the West Midlands.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust (WWT) communications manager Wendy Carter said: “We know there are populations in Battlefield Brook, Sanders Park, Bromsgrove and the nearby Spadesbourne Brook.

“Last year we had an exciting find at our Wilden Marsh Nature Reserve when the warden there spotted a water vole. We do not know if it is just one or a colony. We need to go back there and do more survey work.”

She said the PTES survey is important in monitoring and helping to protect the water vole and she encouraged people to take part.

Wendy added that work is currently being done along Battlefield Brook by Bromsgrove District Council, Severn Trent Water and contractors NMC Monenca to improve water quality and the habitat for water voles.

On Friday (April 13), the public is invited to drop in to Sanders Park to see a special exhibition from 10am to 6pm by the bandstand and discover more about the project. Experts will be on hand to help and explain what is going on and future plans.

More details about the project and progress can be found at

People from Worcestershire interested in volunteering for the PTES Water Vole Monitoring Programme are asked to survey one of the pre-selected sites, recording all sightings and signs of water voles along a 500m length of riverbank once during the course of the two-month period.

Sites that are already being surveyed can also be registered with the NWVMP. Though no prior experience is required, volunteers will need to learn how to identify water vole field signs. A survey pack, including clear instructions on how to do a survey and a field signs ID guide, will be provided.

To find out more, or to take part in PTES’s 2018 National Water Vole Monitoring Programme, visit: