Around one hundred water voles will be reintroduced into the National Trust‘s Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales, England this week, in what is believed to be the highest water vole reintroduction project ever carried out in Britain.
This will be the first time the endangered mammals have been seen at Malham Tarn – England’s highest freshwater lake (377m) – in fifty years.
National Trust ecologists believe Malham Tarn’s water voles were wiped out in the 1960s by mink, which escaped from fur farms nearby.
The charismatic water vole – inspiration for Ratty, hero of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows – is Britain’s fastest declining wild mammal.
The Malham Tarn Estate is a popular Dales beauty spot set amid rolling hills and rugged moorland.
This outstanding area of limestone pavements, upland hill farms and flower-rich hay meadows provides a marvelous setting for walking, cycling or just enjoying the great outdoors.
The National Nature Reserve is home to a unique community of rare plants and animals, which now include water voles.
Photo credit: National Trust Images, Paul Dunn