Help to boost water voles

A water vole. Below (left) Hannah Woodhouse and Becky Stanley
A water vole. Below (left) Hannah Woodhouse and Becky Stanley

PEOPLE are being urged to get involved in environmental work that aims to attract rare water voles back to a town beck.

Volunteers are being sought to help create the kind of habitat that is required by the UK’s fastest declining wild mammal.

From left, Hannah Woodhouse from Hartlepool Borough Council's parks and countryside section and Wild Green Spaces project officer Becky Stanley beside the Burn Valley Family Wood beck

From left, Hannah Woodhouse from Hartlepool Borough Council's parks and countryside section and Wild Green Spaces project officer Becky Stanley beside the Burn Valley Family Wood beck

They are being invited to join the Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool team and staff from Hartlepool Borough Council’s parks and countryside section to work along a stretch of the Burn Valley Family Wood beck on Friday from 10am-2pm.

Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project officer, Becky Stanley, said: “There was evidence of water voles being present in this area a number of years ago and we are hoping to attract them back.

“We will be clearing the banks along a 45ft stretch of the beck to provide a suitable area for them to make the burrows in which they live.

“We will also be clearing some of the vegetation – water voles dislike nettles in particular – and litter from the area. People can give as much or as little of their time as they want, any offer of help will be appreciated. Those who do choose to get involved should wear old clothing and suitable footwear such as wellies. All equipment will be provided.”

Participants should meet at the entrance to the Burn Valley Family Wood, off Elwick Road, at 10am.

For further information call (01429) 523419.

The three-year Wild Green Spaces in Hartlepool project aims to involve local people in a range of work to improve and develop the town’s parks and Local Nature Reserves to create wildlife havens.

The project is also hosting a Picture Your Park event in Ward Jackson Park on Saturday from 10am-2pm where people will be able to spend some time with an expert photographer learning how to get the very best shots from their cameras.

The event is aimed at people aged 12 and over and advance booking is essential by calling (01429) 853325.