A group of anglers is working to reverse the fortunes of one of the UK’s rarest mammals along a stretch of river in Croxley.
Thanks to a partnership between Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust and Three Rivers District Council (TRDC), a group can begin work to improve the habitat for water voles.
The 350m stretch of river at Croxley Hall Fisheries will be transformed as anglers work to improve over-shading trees to allow in-channel and bankside vegetation to grow.
Lydia Ennis, Colne Valley Rivers & Wetlands officer, explained: “Not all the trees and scrub will be removed along the river for water voles, as other wildlife depend on these habitats and we do not want to lose them.
“The aim is to create a balanced mosaic of riverside and wetland habitats which can support a range of species: water voles, fish, kingfishers, bats and different types of invertebrates. The fishery is also actively involved in monitoring and controlling American mink, ensuring that water voles and other species can make the most of the habitat provided for them through this project.”
Councillor Phil Williams, TRDC’s lead member for environmental services, climate change and sustainability, added: “Thanks to ongoing conservation work, we are lucky that Croxley Hall Fisheries has one of the largest water vole populations in the local area, but they are still vulnerable to many threats.
“Small-scale interventions, like the work being carried out in this project, can make all the difference for securing the future of this species.”
Photo credit: Lydia Ennis