Conservation groups in Cheshire have joined forces with BASC on a project which could boost the numbers of endangered water voles in the county.
The long-term aim of the project, which was set up through the British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s (BASC) Green Shoots scheme, is to clear the county of mink, a non-native species, which has caused significant damage to water vole populations across the region, as well as to many other species.
BASC has teamed up with the Mersey Basin Campaign and the Northwest Lowlands water vole project officer to construct mink rafts which will be put out on the River Gowy.
They will act as a monitoring and detection device and will be equipped with a humane capture trap for mink. Chester Zoo donated the money to build the mink rafts in order to help safeguard the future of the water voles. BASC members will be given a raft and a recording card so that the organisations can monitor mink/water vole activity on the River Gowy.
Ben Gregory, BASC’s Green Shoots Cheshire project officer, said: “In recent years it has become increasingly obvious that the future of water vole in the UK needs direct action to restore its habitat and reduce the threat of mink. A well co-ordinated approach will dramatically reduce numbers of this destructive species in Cheshire.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
• BASC is the largest representative organisation for shooting sports with over 127,000 members. We work to protect and promote responsible shooting and engage with the entire spectrum of governmental and non-governmental organisations, politicians and partners to achieve these aims.
• BASC’s project in Cheshire is part of our Green Shoots programme. Green Shoots is BASC’s biodiversity action plan for shooting and contributes towards the UK Biodiversity Action Plan which aims to conserve and sustainably manage all our wildlife