A hundred voles reintroduced to Cookham for wildlife boost

Martha Chapman

One of Britain’s most threatened mammals is being given a boost with the release of nearly 100 water voles along Cookham’s waterways, writes Martha Chapman.

Wildlife group WildCookham was in charge of this release. This group is working with the support of a water vole recovery project run by the local wildlife trust and help from volunteers.

Water voles were common along the river until the 1990s when habitat loss and predations by American Mink resulted in their disappearance.

The species also has a special Cookham connection, as the village was the home of the author of ‘Wind in the Willows’, in which Ratty (a water vole), plays a prominent role.

Project leader Brian Clews said: “Voles and other small mammals are an essential part of the food chain so these population declines pose a threat to all life on our planet.

“We need to move quickly to stop the collapse and then begin the recovery. We hope our local action can play a small part in doing this.”

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