Field vole
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Natural history
Water voles were once a common and familiar British mammal. It is likely that they were an abundant species in Mesolithic wetlands.    They are Britain's largest vole species. A large male can weigh up to 340g grams. They are good swimmers who use water to access vegetation and avoid predators.   They inhabit burrow complexes in the banks of water courses. Some of these structures can be very old.  They can also create 'ball nests' in stands of vegetation. This adaptation allows them to live in aquatic environments where burrowing habitat is limited in availability. Although water voles are largely vegetarian they may occasionally consume fish carrion, amphibians and pond snails. Their field signs can on occasion be confusingly similar to those left by field voles (microitis agrestris) Water voles once inhabited virtually all the fresh water landscapes of mainland Britain  
Specialists in water vole ecology