Thanks to the players of the Peoples' Postcode Lottery and many generous donations from our supporters, we've installed innovative ‘vole ladders’ along the Grand Union Canal's Paddington Branch.
These ladders at Hanwell Lock Flight in Ealing give an existing colony of water voles access to vital new floating islands, which are ideal for them to nest and feed on.
This vital conservation task was carried out by our regular volunteer party, supported by Ealing Rangers and the Friends of Hanwell Flight who regularly meet at the lock flight.
It is very unusual to find water voles living in such an urban area, so to give them a helping hand the volunteers planted reeds along the banks of the canal to soften them. They also removed a tree that was polluting the water.
Leela O’Dea, Canal & River Trust ecologist, said: “Water vole populations have rapidly declined in recent years, largely as a result of habitat loss and predation by mink. The slow moving waters of our canals and rivers can be ideal homes but colonies are often isolated. This work makes a massive difference as we can enhance the areas where they live, and play our part in conserving and restoring their populations.”