Water voles prove plentiful opposite a brook
This letter is in reference to Susan Jones’ article in the Suffolk Edition of Let’s Talk (August) about water voles.
Born and bred in Pakefield, Lowestoft, I had never heard of a water vole, let alone seen one. This all changed in 2003 when I moved to Cambridge for work and moved into a property situated opposite a chalk stream brook. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky as water voles are plentiful here.
Walking the brook several times a week I would normally see anywhere from one to 12 water voles on each visit, rarely do I not see any. Just recently their numbers seem to have increased. I often see juvenile water voles and in recent years black ones are also making an appearance.
There are often many signs that water voles are around; nibbled and flattened reeds, burrows along the bank, that distinctive ‘plop’ as they drop into the water, the ripples in the water as they swim the brook.
They used to be very difficult to photograph and I went years without getting a single picture. Now though they seem to be more at ease and people friendly, they now no longer scarper at the first sight of a human.
I have had such a love for these little guys for many years and it is so sad that they are an endangered species (though in my local brook you wouldn’t believe this to be the case).
HAYLEY KING Pakefield, Lowestoft, Suffolk
Water voles caught in action by Hayley King’s camera.