Water voles being released at Seaton Wetlands

An exciting project with East Devon District Council’s Countryside Team and the Axe Vale & District Conservation Society has seen 213 water voles released at Seaton Wetlands

The water vole population in the Axe Estuary has been significantly boosted thanks to an initiative organised by East Devon District Council and the Axe Vale & District Conservation Society, who together released 213 water voles in Seaton Wetlands, on Tuesday 4 September 2018, as part of a major reintroduction programme

The increased numbers of water voles will help improve conditions for other riparian wildlife to thrive, such as dragonflies and demoiselles, thanks to the water voles who will be burrowing, feeding and moving around the site.

Cllr Marcus Hartnell, East Devon District Council’s deputy portfolio holder for the Environment said:

I was very privileged to see the iconic water voles up-close before they were released onto the East Devon District Council owned site at Seaton Wetlands. The Countryside team and their dedicated volunteers will be working to maintain the outstanding environment at Seaton Wetlands to enable the water vole population to thrive. It is hoped that visitors will enjoy increased opportunities to see these fascinating mammals up-close.

Countryside team leader (Sites), James Chubb said:

Nationally water vole populations are in decline as habitats are lost and non-native American mink predate them. We are delighted to home 213 water voles, bred by Derek Gow Consultancy Ltd, to Seaton Wetlands. The water voles will be closely monitored as they settle into the wetlands.

Doug Rudge from the Axe Vale & District Conservation Society commented:

The water voles were released at the southern stretch of the River Axe, allowing their population to grow and spread northwards. The introduction at Seaton Wetlands enables their immediate needs to be met by the Countryside rangers and volunteers. We’re all looking forward to seeing more of these iconic British mammals.

Seaton Wetlands is a Green Flag Award winning nature reserve to the North of Seaton. It is owned by East Devon District Council and managed by the Countryside team. The site, which is free to visit, is suitable for all ages and is home to an abundance of wildlife. For more information on visiting Seaton Wetlands and other East Devon nature reserves visit wildeastdevon.co.uk. The Countryside team can be contacted via email: wild@eastdevon.co.uk or phone: 01395 517557.