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September 7 2013

British water vole population slumps by more than one-fifth, survey finds


The crystal-clear water races over the stones, a heron cries and the smell of wild mint rises on the warm air.

But there is one thing missing from this bucolic scene: the telltale swish of the reeds or sudden liquid plop that betrays a water vole.

The creature immortalised as Ratty in The Wind in the Willows is vanishing from the British countryside, with the population slumping by more than one–fifth, according to a new five-year survey.

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