Water Voles are in the way of the proposed Hotel so would be moved under the development proposals at Betteshanger Country Park. They are an Endangered species and the fastest declining mammal in the whole country, having disappeared from 94% of their former habitats.
This is what the Kent Wildlife Trust say in the Kent Biodiversity Strategy:
” Water vole populations in Kent are of national importance, with the county home to 3 National Key Sites at Elmley, the North Kent Marshes and Stodmarsh. Water voles are an excellent indicator of landscape connectivity. Water voles are also ecological engineers, enhancing habitat heterogeneity through their burrowing and grazing activities creating rich bankside environments capable of supporting a wide variety of insects, other small mammals (inc. bats), reptiles and amphibians”
The Water Vole target of the Biodiversity Strategy, to which Dover District Council is party, is to ” To retain Water Vole populations on all known sites”
No comprehensive survey has been carried out at Betteshanger but could it, along with surrounding areas of marsh, be another Key site for Water Voles?
Many thanks to David Russell at Pixabay for the great picture