Asker Nature Reserve

Vole

The water vole has chestnut-brown fur, a blunt, rounded nose, small ears, and a furry tail.

Water voles are Britain's largest vole species.

Water voles are protected by law. They are in serious decline.

The water vole has chestnut-brown fur, a blunt, rounded nose, small ears, and a furry tail.

They need to eat 80% of their body weight a day and spend most of their time eating riverside vegetation and water plants.

The main difference between a water vole and a rat are their ears which are hidden in their fur, fur on their tail and a rounder head shape.

An adult water vole can grow to 20cm long plus a tail of 12cm.

Main Image

Water voles live in waterside burrows

Water vole swimming in the river Asker

Vole Gallery

  • Deciding if the water is running too fast
    Deciding if the water is running too fast
    nicola dennis
  • Swimming down stream
    Swimming down stream
  • Long strong orange front teeth are used for digging tunnels
    Long strong orange front teeth are used for digging tunnels
  • Sometimes you only glimpse a tail disappearing into the bank.
    Sometimes you only glimpse a tail disappearing into the bank.
  • Hard to see when they sit still
    Hard to see when they sit still
  • Clambering down the bank
    Clambering down the bank
  • You can hear them plop into the water when startled on the bank. This one surprised a moorhen.
    You can hear them plop into the water when startled on the bank. This one surprised a moorhen.
  • They use their fronts paws to hold their food
    They use their fronts paws to hold their food
  • they have special areas for toilets. Unlike rat poo, watervole poo is rounded at both ends
    they have special areas for toilets. Unlike rat poo, watervole poo is rounded at both ends
  • Their ears are covered by fur
    Their ears are covered by fur
  • burrow holes can be found upto a metre above water level
    burrow holes can be found upto a metre above water level
  • when they eat they leave a 45% cut
    when they eat they leave a 45% cut

Water Voles Map

Voles

Voles live here - please be kind and think of this endangered animal, keep children, dogs and anything else that might be splash-y away from here if possible!

Voles

Voles live here - please be kind and think of this endangered animal, keep children, dogs and anything else that might be splash-y away from here if possible!

Legal Protection
Water voles have legal protection under Schedule 5 (Section 9) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act
1981 (as amended). This includes; intentional or reckless damage, destruction or obstruction to
access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection, intentional or reckless disturbance
to water voles whilst occupying a structure or place used for that purpose and intentional killing,
injuring or taking of water voles.

The maximum penalty for each offence in the Magistrates’ Court is a Level 5 (up to £5000)
and/or six months imprisonment.

Vole News

Two water voles seen together

One water vole is a treat to see, two is just incredible. This gorgeous photo…
Read More