water vole fencing

Over the last 12 months TSL has installed in excess of 8,000 metres of Water Vole Fencing on sites across the country.

TSL installs its own award winning Herpetosure Water Vole Fencing, which is not only reusable and recyclable; it also beats alternative plywood systems on product performance and price!

On the 06/04/2008 water voles became fully covered by section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA). Prior to this the water vole was only covered by section 9(4) and had limited legal protection.

This full legal protection has major implications for developers and construction teams must ensure that their schemes do not kill on-site water vole populations or destroy their habitat.

Developers must undertake surveys to identify the presence of water voles prior to any riparian site clearance or development which affects water course banks; if work starts on-site and water voles or their burrows are subsequently found, all works must stop immediately to avoid breaking the law.

Water vole surveys are carried out between March and September and identify field survey signs including; faeces, latrines, feeding stations, burrows, nests and footprints etc. If water voles are present the developer will be required to replace lost habitat, enhance existing habitat and set out how water voles will be translocated from the affected areas to make way for the works. This mitigation strategy must be approved by Natural England and a Conservation Licence is required prior to any translocation of water voles – all of which Three Shires can assist with

This translocation process is where water vole fencing comes in. Water vole fencing has a number of applications in water vole mitigation:
  • A. Exclude Water Voles from Development - Water vole fencing can be used to ring fence an existing water vole population to prevent water voles from entering a development area.
  • B. Water Voles in Translocation - Water vole fencing can be used to contain water voles during translocation to enable them to be safely captured under licence and translocated to a newly created or temporary habitat.
  • C. Protect Newly Created Water Vole Habitat - Water Vole fencing can be used to protect a newly created water vole habitat from colonisation by other water vole populations. Water voles are very territorial and therefore a translocated water vole population cannot be relocated where another water vole population already exists. For this reason newly created habitats which form part of the mitigation strategy require protection or else the developer risks another populations nullifying there new and often costly new habitat.

Water vole mitigation requires a lot of advanced planning as it can only be implemented within key working windows. Mitigation works such as translocation and habitat enhancement etc can only be under taken in End of March to April Period and End August to Early October. This said developers require works to be delivered extremely quickly and in full compliance as programme delays or failures in the water vole fencing can have catastrophic impacts on construction projects. Another key consideration is that in order to for a new habitat to be suitable for water voles it must be established and capable of supporting the population. For this reason new habitats must be created anywhere between 6 and 12 months in advance of a water vole translocation and must remain protected by water vole fencing until the translocated population is released.

With the above in mind, developers and main contractors require water vole fencing to be installed immediately once the licence has been received, within a very short time frame, in full compliance and in accordance with the supervising ecological clerk of works – choosing TSL enable clients to move projects forward in this way.

Three Shires is able to recommend specifications, supply and install water vole fencing at market leading rates and installation outputs, install Sherman traps and soft release pens, react at short notice from instruction and complete all works professionally. Our experience of hundreds of licenced mitigation schemes means that all of this is delivered with little or no ecological supervision, saving clients unnecessary costs and giving ecological consultants the confidence that all works are being delivered in line with best practice.

TSL has a truly nationwide capability
and the most experienced installation teams in the country Call us today!