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Water Vole Surveys

Water VoleWater voles are the fastest declining mammal species in the UK. Between 1989 and 1998 numbers dropped by over 90%. If you are planning to develop near a water body such as an agricultural ditch or pond, you may require a water vole survey.

View our Ecology Survey Calendar to plan your Water Vole survey.


Surveys will be carried out by experienced JCA ecologists and will assess the banks for signs of water vole activity including footprints, latrines, and burrows. An overall assessment of the suitability of the site for water voles will also take place. Surveys can be done between March and October with the optimal time between April and September. Please see the Ecology Survey Calendar.

If its is found that a development will have a negative effect on the water vole population, JCA can put in place a Mitigation Plan and apply for a Mitigation Licence from Natural England on your behalf.

Water Voles and the Law:

Water voles are protected in the UK under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). Under this piece of legislation, it is an offence to:

  • Intentionally kill, injure or take (capture) a Water Vole.

  • Possess or control a live or dead Water Vole, or any part of a Water Vole

  • Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place which Water Voles use for shelter or protection or disturb Water Voles while they are using such a place.

  • Sell, offer for sale or advertise for sale, live or dead Water Voles.

Water Vole survey timeline

JCA Water Vole Survey Timeline

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I worked with JCA to ensure that their management systems were ISO9001 compliant. From our time together I can happily report that the organization has a strong customer focus and that the advice their clients receive is of the highest quality

Paul Elcoat, MD at Elcoat Ltd

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