Monday, 12 March 2012
Water Vole Island
We have spent a bit of time re-vamping our water vole island display recently. After re-doing it 3 years ago, it has stead the test of time but was beginning to look a little tired from were the voles had done all their burrowing.
Water drained out, we have re-built the banks, built up the island with fresh top soil and re done the feeding islands. We have also added a bit of grass to add colour, although the rest will readily grow back its self through the soil in a few weeks time.
All that is left to do is plant a bit of sedge grass around the edge and wait for the Voles to make it their own and look a little more naturalistic.
The voles are loving it already, and don't panic you photographers out there... I know the "Ol' blue 'ol" is still there... I have some nice terracotta pipes being prepped to put in place of the blue tubing for that more realistic look.
Over the past few years our water voles have proved to be a fantastic exhibit, especially over the Summer months with the pair and their youngsters not afraid to be out and about while surrounded by people.
It all offers a great opportunity to see this rarely seen British mammal up close and hopefully lets you see it for all its endearing and characterful charm.
Behind the scenes we breed many water voles every year which end up going into the wild. Over recent years we have introduced most of them down on our nature reserve, and just a month ago heard that they have spread down the stream to neighbouring farms. This is great news of course and shows that the releases have been a success.
Give it a week or so to allow them to settle back into their home, and then come and see the real "Ratty" from The Wind in the Willows.