Legal Status


From the 6th April 2008 water voles became subject to increased legal protection and are now fully covered by the provisions of section 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

Legal protection makes it an offence to:

Intentionally kill, injure or take water voles

Possess or control live or dead water voles or derivatives

Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection

•Intentionally or recklessly disturb water voles whilst occupying a structure or place used for that purpose

Sell water voles or offer or expose for sale or transport for sale

•Publish or cause to be published any advertisement which conveys the buying or selling of water voles.