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Changes to the Water Vole Survey Seasons

water vole survey

Don’t miss the spring survey window for water voles!

Water vole surveys may be required if your development project may impact any watercourse or ditch. The requirement for water vole surveys will be indicted within a Preliminary Ecological Appraisal.

Following changes to the guidance on water vole surveys and mitigation, two water vole survey visits are now required. This increases the confidence in a negative result by understanding habitat usage at different times of year.

One survey must be completed between April and June, and a second between July and September. The two survey visits must be spaced at least two months apart. The survey will identify breeding territories and latrines.

If water voles are confirmed on site, you will require a Conservation Licence from a Statutory Nature Conservation Organisation (SNCO) before there are any impacts to water voles and their burrow systems. The SNCO will only grant licences where a significant ecological enhancement is shown, as its purpose is for conservation.
Mitigation for water voles can involve displacement or translocation of water voles in the early spring.

agb Environmental teams have experience of undertaking water vole surveys and mitigation for a variety of development projects. For more information on water vole surveys, or any other ecology surveys, please contact Richard Parmee (Head of Natural Environment) on 01638 663226 (Newmarket office) or email

News, Surveys