Water Vole to be Protected

water-vole.jpg
Picture:  The Times

 In a week when the government took the decision to allow a “limited” badger cull, it also decided to provide legal protection for the declining water vole.

From the 6th of April, the little water vole will enjoy the same safety and protection that many other water-dwelling creatures such as the sea-horse and the otter enjoy.

This means there will be implications for developers wanting to build around their habitats.  Waterside developments are hugely popular and in order for builders to avoid breaking this new law, they will need to catch all the voles within their desired area and re-house them before any building work commences.  Quite how this forced relocation is not disturbing them I’m not sure but I think the new law is a responsible and welcome decision which will result in one less wonderful species being wiped out by human meddling.

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5 Responses to Water Vole to be Protected

  1. matt says:

    Lets put a water vole in the ‘speakers chair’. Less corrupt!

  2. earthpal says:

    . . . less corrupt and a lot more cuddly.

  3. Pete Smith says:

    Last time I looked the badger was protected too. It’s even got its own Act of Parliament, the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. Doesn’t seem to stop the persecution, and it remains to be seen what ‘provisos’ and ‘exemptions’ are written into the Protection of Water Voles Act 2008.

    I hate the buggers anyway, one bit me on the ankle when I was a nipper. He won’t be popping round to see Badger and Toad in a hurry, I can tell you.

  4. Pete Smith says:

    As for the stuff about catching and relocating the varmints, judging by the time and expense involved in protecting things like the Great Crested Newt, all it’s going to achieve is make rural housing even less affordable.

    http://environmentdebate.co.uk/2007/11/30/newt-in-my-back-yard/

  5. earthpal says:

    Well, I guess there’s a dilemma here. But there has to be some balance. And the government tends to “balance” in favour of the developer every time. We all know that constantly prioritising the builder threatens the natural wildlife. The water vole has suffered a massive decline in recent years, much of it due to human meddling of one sort or another.

    There aren’t many poor developers and if they have to be inconvenienced by the existence of wildlife on their desired sites, then so be it. There’s a price to pay for trashing our environment.

    If it involves an affordable housing project then surely a compromise can be reached with some good planning and mitigation strategies. I wouldn’t mind betting that some wildlife charities offer the service for an expenses-only fee. At least they’d be sure it was being done correctly and humanely.

    As for the bite . . . it was probably just defending its territory. 😉

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