Water Voles in the City

Water voles are one of the UK’s most threatened mammals. Since 1990 they have declined by 88% in national surveys. They are now a UK protected species and a priority for conservation action.

In 2008 a small population of water voles was found living in grassland on the edge of the M8 at Easterhouse. This was unique for mainland UK as they had never been found living more than 20m for a pond or water course. Yet here they were on the edge of a motorway at least 1km away from the nearest water body.

Since that initial discovery our surveys have found a thriving population of grassland water vole living in and around the Seven Lochs Wetland Park. We are only just beginning to understand this unique population – which is now recognised as being of national significance.

One area of our research is to monitor how water vole populations change from year-to-year, and whether they are increasing of declining. You can help by surveying sites for water vole burrows and other signs as part of our Wildlife Counts volunteer programme.

Volunteer with us.

  • Robyn Stewart from the University of Glasgow tells Gillian Burke from BBC Springwatch the amazing story of the unique grassland water voles that thrive across Easterhouse in Glasgow.

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