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Water Vole Ecology and Field Signs Training – Wednesday 10th May 2023

May 10 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Event focus:
A water vole Image Credit Hugh Clark

This course will cover water vole ecology, lifecycle, habitat, survey techniques, and the identification of field signs.

No prior knowledge necessary. The course is suitable for anyone with a professional or personal interest in this species, and is designed to guide you towards taking part in our National Water Vole Monitoring Programme (NWVMP).

Water voles are fully protected by law, but they can be elusive and difficult to detect. It is important that NWVMP volunteers, conservationists, and ecologists know how to survey for them and other riverbank species.

By the end of the training, you will be able to:

  • Identify water vole, otter and American mink field signs
  • Understand water vole ecology, conservation and legislation
  • Conduct a water vole survey, and optimise chances of detecting water voles during surveys
  • Assess habitat suitability for water voles and explain suitable habitat management techniques


The species identification element of the course will cover a range of water vole field signs (e.g. droppings, feeding signs, burrows) in great detail and it will compare them to other easily-confused species.

The training course itself is free, but we are running it on a donate-what-you-feel basis. Donations can be made here. Here’s how your donations will help PTES:

£10 could buy two latrine rafts for a river, to help us detect water voles more easily.

£25 could help us train a volunteer to take part in the NWVMP.

£100 could help us advise a group of landowners to manage their waterways for water voles.


Your tutor: Emily Sabin

Emily is the Water Vole Officer at People’s Trust for Endangered Species. She co-ordinates the NWVMP, and advises on water vole policy, research and strategy with NGOs and government agencies. She is also an experienced ecological consultant and has been undertaking water vole surveys for almost 10 years.

Image Credit: Hugh Clark


May 10
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Emily Sabin

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People's Trust For Endangered Species

People's Trust for Endangered Species, 3 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG

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