Volunteers help save endangered water vole
GENEROUS volunteers have been giving up hours of their time to help save endangered water voles around the Cotswolds.
Just over a year ago the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust (GWT), a charity working to improve the environment throughout the county, put out a call for volunteers to help in its Cotswold Rivers Living Landscape Programme.
Since then, 117 volunteers have given up almost 1,200 hours of their time, carrying out tasks such as building barn owl boxes, surveying rivers for water voles and rebuilding riverbanks.
Volunteer Jane Ford from Naunton said she was pleased to be able to do her bit for the environment.
“It’s been hard work, sometimes in the rain, but always great fun,” she said. “It's been a chance to work in a team, meet new people, learn a lot about our local environment and, overall, feel as if we've made a positive contribution."
The programme, which is funded by a £48,600 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, is working around the rivers Wildrush, Coln and Churn to protect the habitat of the water vole, which is under threat of extinction, while protecting other wildlife such as kingfishers, trout and otters.
The Trust’s Cotswold rivers community wildlife officer Will Masefield paid tribute to the hard work of the volunteers.
“Having the support of such a huge number of people who are willing to give up their time to help our wonderful wildlife is astounding,” he said.
Anyone who would like to get involved with the programme can contact Mr Masefield on 07739 307 056 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org