Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Not so good on Radley Brook

Over the past few years, this blog has focused on the trials and tribulations of two water vole colonies and whilst things are currently looking good for those one River Ock (), life is a lot harder for those on Radley Brook.
Running between the Barton Fields nature reserve and the River Thames, it is more of a ditch with stagnant water than an actual brook, but during summer, much fun can be had feeding the water voles an apple core or two.
However, it's proximity to the Thames can cause problems - the river is corridor for mink and this is where several have been seen in recent years 
And whilst there are almost certainly in otters in the river, the river is so wide that they are unlikely to offer any protection to the water voles.
Although at the moment, there are other problems for any water voles, the heavy rain on Sunday has meant the river has burst it's banks and flowed into the brook, which is now very high:
With such a rapid increase in water level, any water voles trying to define their territory or make and renovate  their burrows could have been drowned.
And not only is the brook very high, but the Thames Path which runs alongside the brook is underwater and impassable
Water vole colonies are fragile, and even though things look very precarious, experience says - when it comes to water voles - never to give up hope:

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