Protected Species Survey

Water Vole Survey

Water Vole Survey

Protection & Legislation

Water voles are a UK BAP priority species, and a species of principal importance in England, under section 41 of the NERC Act 2006. The water vole is also fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It is an offence to intentionally kill, capture or injure and intentionally or recklessly disturb, obstruct, damage or destroy the burrows of water voles.

Water Vole Survey Methodology

A water vole survey generally involves searching for and recording characteristic water vole field signs along the edge of a water course or water body. Water vole field signs include:

  • water vole droppings & latrines
  • feeding stations
  • water vole burrows, lawns around on-land burrow holes and above ground nests
  • water vole footprints, and runways in vegetation.

If water voles are found to be present within a development site or adjacent to a site boundary, then a water vole survey should be considered within the application. It is recommended that ditches and water courses are maintained within schemes, however, if this is not practical, then water voles must be translocated under a licence.

Survey Season

water vole survey season - water vole survey calendar

Visit our full Survey Calendar for suitable times for your survey to be conducted.


Contact Us

To discuss water vole surveys and other water vole mitigation measures, please email us, call us on 01372 364 133 or use our enquiry form below.

For more protected species survey services click here.