Staff at Denbighshire County Council have been doing their bit to help local wildlife and the environment.
The highways team recently carried out extensive ditch drainage work in the Morfa Cwybr area of Rhyl which is a known habitat for a colony of water voles.
The protected species is one of the fastest declining mammals in the UK and so the council took the decision to work closely with a water vole expert to ensure the habitat wasn’t disturbed or damaged during the work.
The project involved clearing overgrown vegetation from the water course to prevent flooding but it also provided an opportunity to improve the habitat for the water voles.
Tony Ward, Head of Highways and Environmental Services, said: “We consulted with Natural Resources Wales and worked very closely with a water vole expert who provided advice and guidance on how to protect and improve the habitat. Water voles don’t like swimming in deep water so by clearing out the vegetation to allow better drainage, we hope we have made the environment better for them.”
The council was also able to help another wildlife project by reusing the 50 tons of reeds and bull rush removed from the area to form a reed bed at a nearby Community Fishery at the Rhyl Cut.
The fishery is a partnership project between Denbighshire’s Countryside Service and the Rhyl Cut Fishing Club which was set up by local residents. The coarse fishery is still in its development stage and is struggling with fish being eaten by cormorants. The reed bed will provide the necessary cover for the fish as well as a useful habitat for a variety of other wildlife.
Garry Davies, from Denbighshire Countryside Services North area, said he was delighted the vegetation had been put to good use rather than being sent to landfill, where it would have been costly to dispose of.
He said:“This approach is very cost effective, creates good initial effect and increases the county’s biodiversity value at the same time. Also, knowing the origin of the vegetation stock is important for biosecurity because we are assured that no invasive species is present."
This work has saved the service around £25,000, due to the fact that reeds are being re-used.
Posted on Wednesday 26th April 2017