Sean's Wild Life
Water Voles & Community Conservation
I showed Elliot Newton of Citizen Zoo and now Biodiversity Officer for Kingston Council around Ealing for the first time. Elliot is leading a community led water vole reintroduction project in Kingston on the Hogsmill River, a very special chalk fed stream where water voles used to thrive but have undergone a local extinction. Water Vole reintroduction is something that I've been scoping out as a project for Ealing Wildlife Group so it was great to get advice from Elliot who is already well underway with his community engagement, habitat management preparations and had just reached his crowdfunding target at the time of recording.
We also cut to a previous conversation myself, Elliot and Kieron Brown of The Field Studies Council had in the pub where they debated whether water voles or earthworms were the more important animals. It got heated. I think I may need to get Kieron on at some point to defend the humble earthworm, his specialist topic.
As Elliot has said when promoting his water vole project, the UK is one of the most nature depleted nations in the world. And if we can't even hold on to some of our rodent species we're not doing too well in terms of wildlife conservation. We discuss Ealing Wildlife Group's upcoming project to reintroduce Britain's tiniest rodent, the Harvest Mouse, and then ponder the possibility of our largest native rodent coming back in London. Beavers on the Brent? Watch this space!
Sean's Wild Life podcast is produced and edited by Thomas Ntinas. Title track 'A Wild Life' kindly composed and donated by Mark Rose. Production costs are self funded by Sean McCormack, but donations to fund future episodes are welcome on Acast Supporter here: http://supporter.acast.com/seans-wild-life or at www.patreon.com/seanswildlife.
If you would like to sponsor a future episode of Sean's Wild Life please email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.drseanmccormack.com to learn more about Sean's work.
Cover photo credit: Elliot Newton (Citizen Zoo).