Water vole surveys look for evidence in the form of burrows, latrines, feeding remains and runs. An experienced ecologist is able to identify the differences between water vole and rat habitats.
Water voles are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If any development is to be conducted on or near to a water body that has the potential to support water voles then a survey will be necessary to determine if they are present.
They can be found on slow-flowing water courses, wet ditches, ponds, lakes and canals. They prefer well vegetated banks with taller plants and reed beds, burrowing into the sides and foraging on the vegetation.
Water voles prefer well vegetated banks with taller plants and reed beds, where they can burrow into the sides and forage on vegetation.