Project information

Bude Water Vole Reintroduction Project

Water Voles having faced extinction within Cornwall, now face a brighter future with conservation efforts from Westland Countryside Stewards. The Bude river catchment presents ideal habitat for the re-introduction of this species.

3 years

Charity information

Westland Countryside Stewards Ltd

Westland Countryside Stewards Ltd logo
  • Need


    The catastrophic level of predation by the American Mink has decimated the UK population of water voles. Bude Water Vole project aims to re-introduce this species back to its natural habitat within the Bude river catchment.


    By efficient and comprehensive monitoring using mink rafts we can ensure that the re-introduced water voles have the best chance of survival. Once confirmation of tracks within the rafts is noted, trapping and despatch of the mink is carried out.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    The successful long term re-introduction of water voles to the Bude river catchment in Cornwall.


    » Mink monitoring
    » Surveying

    A comprehensive programme of surveying of the river catchment and a comprehensive end of project report compiled by the Derek Gow Consultancy.

  • Impact


    The presence of a self sustained breeding population of water voles.


    Predation by American Mink. As already noted, we monitor for them using mink rafts and live-trap where necessary to help eradicate them from the area.


    Funders will receive a copy of a comprehensive end of project report that will be compiled by the Derek Gow Consultancy.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £32,600

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      Amount Heading Description
      £12,000 Admin & Wages Wage for mink monitoring / trapping / survey work. Portable display boards.
      £5,000 Already Funded Environment Agency
      £15,600 Already Funded BIFFA - Land Fill Community Fund

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    BIFFA £15,600 Guaranteed
    ENVIRONMENT AGENCY £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Bude has the canal and marshes that the river catchment feeds into. A fantastic area declared a Local Nature Reserve LNR in 1983 the first in Cornwall. 6ha of mainly reed bed, wet grassland and willow carr.


    This is a local nature reserve providing opportunities for locals and visitors to appreciate the wildlife on their doorstep. Local volunteers / students will gain experience and knowledge of conservation of water voles.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    With the help of the Derek Gow Consultancy, the Environment Agency & the successful agreements made between landowners we are ideally placed to manage this project. Having already carried out the initial surveys, releases from 2013 we are ideally placed to continue the project.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Ms T Hill

    The monitoring and trapping of mink within the entire river catchment. She will be travelling to sites and training on surveying for water voles

Water Vole feeding

Water Vole feeding