It is understood that water voles were previously active on the Sid, but disappeared – with speculation that this might have been about thirty years ago.

There have been reports of their ‘return’, but as yet there is no confirmation from film or any other evidence, which is perhaps surprising, as water voles are not too perturbed by human presence, if they are indeed in residence.

It seems that there are suitable areas along the River Sid, providing habitat for water voles – although whether they would be enough to establish new and sustainable colonies is not clear.

Also, it is also understood that any reintroduction project could cost some £10 thousands.

Nevertheless, as an initial step, sections of the Sid could be ‘re-wilded’ as potential habitat.

This would in turn suggest the need for some further research to be undertaken…

There have been successful programmes undertaken in the West Country.

Leading expert, Derek Gow, who is based in Broadwoodwidger, aka ‘Mr. Water Vole’, is clearly very knowledgeable and experienced, having been reintroducing the water vole across the country over several years now: Derek Gow Consultancy – contact information

For example:  The restoration of Water Voles to Bude Marshes

He is introducing an online course later this month: Water Voles – Ecology, Survey & Re-wilding Experience Tickets, Thu 16 Jun 2022 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Others have also been active in these parts:

Water Vole | Seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel,… | Flickr