Page last updated at 02:41 GMT, Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Water voles rescued from sewage

Water voles
Water voles will be in a sanctuary in Kent for two years

Water voles living near to a sewage treatment plant in south-east London will be rehoused while the plant is extended, Thames Water has said.

Wildlife experts are using carrots and apples to lure nearly 30 voles discovered at Crossness Marshes beside Crossness Sewage Treatment Works.

They have been residing in three sludge lagoons and a 26m (85.3ft) ditch.

The voles will be taken to Wildwood breeding centre in Herne Bay, Kent, where they will remain for two years.

Martin Wagner, Thames Water's conservation manager, said: "With work due to start soon on the planned extension to the works, we wanted to make sure these voles were not disturbed or hurt in any way.

"They're likely to stay there [at the breeding centre] for about two years where we hope their numbers will increase.

"They will then be brought back to Crossness to enjoy new reed ditches specially created for them."

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