Hayes Meadow Water Vole Sanctuary & Release

Hayes Meadow Water Vole Sanctuary & Release

The water vole is a much-loved British mammal better known as ‘Ratty’ in the children’s classic The Wind in the Willows. The Gardener of our waterways

Unfortunately, the future of this charming riverside creature is in peril – critically endangered. The water vole is the UK’s most rapidly declining mammal and has been lost from 94% of places where they were once prevalent.

Water voles have suffered huge declines as a result of habitat loss, pollution of waterways, industrialisation of agriculture, housing development and predation by American mink which were brought to the UK for fur farming.

When the little mammal’s start to fall off our planet’s cliff we all should worry.

Water voles are a vital part of river ecosystems. Their burrowing, feeding and movements help to create conditions for other animals and plants to thrive – a bit like a mini beaver.

in 2021 & 2022 we will do out bit to turn the tide.

After years of natural habitat preparation and securing a 6-acre secure sanctuary of water meadows, outlying bogs with towering sedge interwoven with bubbling springs and streams.  Rewilded to allow an abundance of wild watercress and parsley to flourish.   Hayes Meadow will become a key and secure breeding site for Water Voles to be released back into the wild and into the waterways of Devon. Our goal is to re-establish a substantive, genetically diverse population back into West Devon and beyond.

We are working alongside Derek Gow www.watervoles.com  A profound force behind the fight to save the Water Voles. Derek has done more for protecting a swath of UK endangered mammals and habitat than whole government taskforces.  Our Project is supported by The Devon Environmental Forum www.devonenvironment.org an amazing body supporting environmental project at grass roots, where it matters.