Fly-tippers ‘harm endangered voles’

A FLY-TIPPING problem in a water vole hotspot has sparked a Sidlesham resident to speak out about the issue.

Jane Reeve, who is also the water vole project officer for the Manhood Peninsula Wildlife and Heritage Group (MWHG) said flytipping was harming endangered water voles.

Just last week, more than 50 tyres were dumped in a ditch on Mapsons Lane, a prime habitat for the mammal.

“The pond on Mapsons Lane has had water vole living in it, connected by a well-vegetated ditch to other nearby ponds,” said Jane.

“But the continual dumping of rubbish and human waste is slowly ruining this beautiful habitat and water voles will move out of this location.

“Rats will quickly move into litter-filled areas to exploit the easy food source and water voles then get pushed out as rats will eat them, too.

“The dumping of used car tyres on this commercial scale is heart-breaking as it has totally ruined this quiet wetland spot for people and wildlife.

“This local population of water voles is so important that it and local sites have been filmed by a BBC film crew twice this past year and so to have it disappear through negligence and illegal dumping would be a tragedy.”

She said caravan-owners often dumped their toilet waste in the ditch, and their commercial waste was often found dumped in the area.

The peninsula has been identified as a nationally-important home for water voles, one of the most endangered mammals in the UK.