Restoring Ratty up for top award

Volunteers and staff at the first release of water voles in Kielder Water & Forest Park.' Picture by John Millard
Volunteers and staff at the first release of water voles in Kielder Water & Forest Park.' Picture by John Millard

A project to bring back water voles to Northumberland is in the running for a prestigious national award.

Restoring Ratty, a partnership between Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Forestry England and The Tyne Rivers Trust, supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has been shortlisted for the best large scale nature conservation project by the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.

To enable the success of water vole reintroduction, Forestry England changed the management of the forest to restore the banks along the watercourses, encouraging more varied plant-life to create the perfect habitat. The presence of mink, which hugely contributed to the water voles’ disappearance, has been monitored by the project partners and volunteers. One thousand water voles will have been reintroduced to Kielder Water and Forest Park by the end of June.

Restoring Ratty representatives will be travelling to London for the awards ceremony on June 27.