Water voles rescued

PUBLISHED: 15:54 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 16:10 25 August 2010

CARING: Conservation

CARING: Conservation

ENDANGERED water voles have been rescued from marshes near Europe s largest sewage works.

ENDANGERED water voles have been rescued from marshes near Europe's largest sewage works.

More than 30 of the mammals were captured using baits such as apples and carrots from Crossness Marshes beside Crossness Sewage Treatment Works on Monday night.

They were taken from the sludge lagoons to Wildwood captive breeding centre in Herne Bay in time for their breeding season which begins in March and ends in September.

Thames Water's Conservation Manager Martin Wagner said he expected the voles to return to Crossness in two years.

He said: "They will then be brought back to Crossness to enjoy new reed ditches specially created for them.

"Water voles are a really important feature at Crossness, where over recent years we have re-established over 1.5km of ditches for them and have seen them thrive."

Extension work to increase the sewage works' capacity by 44 per cent is due to finish in 2013.

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