Following a recent report of rat sightings at the duck platform on HI People Facebook page, we alerted our contractor who visited the area yesterday. On inspection of the bait stations, we have been informed there is no evidence of rats currently on the Green but several burrows of water voles.
Water voles are often mistaken for brown rats, they have glossy brown or black fur and black eyes. Their ears are rounded and almost hidden, and they have a dark, slightly furry tail.
Water voles are rapidly declining in the UK and are fully protected under section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981(as amended). Schedule 5 of this Act makes it an offence to intentionally damage or obstruct access to water vole burrows. Future works and maintenance to this area of the Brook and the Platform will be carefully considered.
Did you know, ‘Ratty’ in The Wind in the Willows was not a rat, but a water vole!
We warmly welcome another variety of wildlife to add to our ever-growing Village Green.