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26-10-2013 : WATER VOLE ON THE KENNET AND AVON CANAL

As you gentle cruise along the Kennet And Avon Canal on your Canal Boat Holiday you will get back to nature and have a chance to see and hear it close up.

Nature comes to you on your Canal Boat look out for the water vole that make the Kennet And Avon Canal their home.

A new colony of water voles has been captured on film using hidden cameras at a canal lock on the Kennet And Avon Canal in Wiltshire.

Ecologists from the Canal and River Trust spotted signs of the creatures during conservation works at the Caen Hill lock flight near Devizes.

Laura Plenty, from the trust, said We decided it was a fantastic place to test our heat and motion sensitive camera to catch them in the act.

The nationally-protected species is one of the UKs fastest declining mammals.

Ms Plenty said the trust had been working to create the right habitat for the creatures in an attempt to reverse the decline in the water vole population.

She said they knew there were some colonies on the canal near Devizes but had not been aware of this particular colony until the recent visit to Caen Hill Lock.

She said they put the camera in place after spotting a water vole latrine which is basically a big pile of droppings.

Water voles like to live along canals and riverbanks so they can burrow to create complicated systems of underground tunnels and nesting chambers.

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