Once you have successfully registered, you will be able to select a site to survey. If you are already monitoring a site, then you will be able to register this site with the programme.
Each year we will ask you to survey your site between 15th April and 15th June and submit your data, whether you detected water vole field signs or not.
We have carefully selected nearly 900 sites across England, Scotland and Wales that were surveyed during the two Vincent Wildlife Trust surveys. It is really important to go back to these original sites to get robust data on how the population of water voles in the UK is faring.
You will be able to select one of these sites by entering your postcode/town on our online Google map. After you have selected a site it will no longer be available for another volunteer to choose.
Next, you will need to visit your chosen site in advance of the survey. This will enable you to fill in the site information form, gain permission to enter any private land and plan and map the route of your 500m transect.
Add a new site you already survey
If you are already monitoring a site for water voles, you can register your site with the survey once you have signed up online. Each site should ideally have a continuous 500m transect that can be surveyed annually to tie in with the other sites that will be surveyed. However, if this is not possible then a shorter transect (any denomination of 100m) can be surveyed and multiple transects at each site can also be included.
We would also encourage you to take on one of the existing sites too so that we can try and get as many of these sites monitored each year.
Please note that to register a site that you are already surveying, you will need to know:
• The grid reference of your site
• The county your site is in
• The name of your site .e.g. River Avon
• Habitat of the site and waterway type
• Number of transects at the site
• Whether mink are controlled at the site
Once you have successfully registered your site, you will be all set to do your survey between 15th April and 15th June.
UK Grid References
The National Grid system covers Great Britain with 100km grid squares.
Each 100km grid square in England, Scotland and Wales is identified by 2 letters e.g. TL.
Each 100km grid square is further divided into smaller squares by a set of grid lines representing 10 km spacing, each numbered from 0-9 from the south west corner, in an easterly (left to right) and northerly (upwards) direction e.g. TL63
Always remember to read grid references by eastings first (left to right) and then northings. If you have trouble remembering say along the hall, then up the stairs.
1km survey site
Each 10km square is then further divided into 1km squares, which are reference by a four figure grid reference, eg TL 6532 which is made from putting the eastings together (6 along for the 10km square and then five for the 1km square) and then the northings.
Each 1km square is then further divided into 100m squares (which are referenced using a six figure grid reference) and 10m squares (given by an eight figure grid reference).
Your site will have an eight figure grid reference that indicates its location.
You can find out more information about using grid references at