Help to save water voles on the Manhood Peninsula

A wildlife group has urged residents to safeguard water voles on the Manhood Peninsula.

The only wild group of the rare creatures in West Sussex lives on the peninsula, and the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group is doing all it can to protect them.

The group has applied for Natwest’s CommunityForce scheme in which members of the public can vote for local groups to get funding, and it hopes to hear if it is successful in its application for £6,000 by the end of November.

Trustee of the wildlife group Joe Savill said: “Our work with water voles started in 2008. We have a stronghold of the species here, but they are vanishing at a great rate.

“Volunteers are doing survey work with project leader Jane Reeve, to get a better idea of the populations. From there we do enhancement work. Part of that will be working with landowners.”

Water voles, which eat various plants and need soft mud for their burrows, are the most endangered mammal in the UK.

More than 95 per cent of water voles have disappeared because of their loss of homes and threat from the American mink.

The Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, which received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2010, works to safeguard the unique qualities of the peninsula.

Voting for the CommunityForce scheme ended on October 24. Three projects from each area will be awarded with funding, chosen by public vote.

If you want to help or find our more about the wildlife group log on to its website www.mwhg.org.uk