Kate (Staffordshire Wildlife Fund) and Gemma (Carillion)
The work of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust along the Wom in Wombourne has been very successful! A recent press release was headed-
‘Rare mammals doing well in Wombourne‘
Recent surveys have shown that endangered water voles are going strong on the Wom Brook in Wombourne. And wild life experts have also discovered another surprise visitor to the waterway.
Kate Dewey, co-ordinator of the Wom Brook Water vole Project run by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, has been monitoring the vole population with local volunteers, and says that conservation work carried out by the project has paid off.
‘We have seen lots of signs of water voles including burrows and droppings, and even saw a young water vole. Tree thinning plus weed pulling and willow weaving by volunteers has made parts of the brook much better for voles – thanks to sponsorship by the Carillion Natural Habitats Fund’
But what has really surprised conservationists is the discovery that another larger mammal – the Otter – has been active right in the centre
of the village.
During the surveys, an otter ‘spraint’ or dropping was found on the brook, just yards from Wombourne Civic centre.
‘We knew that otters were present downstream, where the Wom joins the Smestow Brook, but never thought they would venture this far up into the village’ said Kate.
‘Otters are very shy of people and especially dogs, and tend to travel in the early hours of the morning, so it’s unlikely any one will catch a glimpse of one. Luckily, water voles are less shy and can sometimes be seen about during the day.’
If anyone has any sightings of otters, water voles or other interesting wildlife around Wombourne, please contact:
Kate Dewey at Staffordshire Wildlife Trust on 01889 880100.
1. Carillion is a leading, business and construction services group, employing around 18,000 people in the UK and overseas. It is widely recognised as a sector leader in sustainability issues. It was a founder member of the FTSE4Good index and is one of the pioneers of an initiative by Business in the Community on corporate social responsibility.
2. The Carillion Natural Habitats Fund, which started in 2001, is a partnership with The Wildlife Trusts, enabling individual trusts close to Carillion projects or
offices to apply for grants to fund conservation projects. Carillion on-site and office-based staff are also encouraged to become involved in the projects.
3. The Wildlife Trusts is a partnership of 47 Wildlife Trusts, across the UK, caring for almost 2,500 nature reserves. The partnership campaigns for the protection of wildlife and invests in the future by helping people of all ages to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of nature. The Wildlife Trusts have a membership of over 550,000 people. Further information can be found on their website,