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THE Restoring Ratty project, to reintroduce water voles in the Kielder area, has won a national award.

At the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management's 2019 Awards, the project was the winner for best practice in large-scale nature conservation.

Restoring Ratty is a five-year partnership between Kielder Water & Forest Park, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Forestry England and Tyne Rivers Trust, backed by a PS421,000 grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

More than 1,200 animals have been released so far.

Kevin May, Forestry England's forest management director for North Forest District, said: "To win this prestigious award is testament to this strong partnership across our organisations, which includes the energy and enthusiasm of a number of keen volunteers.

"Positive habitat management and the reduction and ongoing monitoring of mink populations will ensure the resilience of this reintroduction. Telling the story of Restoring Ratty supports not only the interest in water voles, but supports a general awareness of ecology and our environment.

"Winning an award or not, seeing the smiles on local children's faces involved in the actual release of water voles is prize enough."

Liz Walters, project manager at Tyne Rivers Trust, said: "It's fantastic to have been part of such a landmark project for Northumberland and win this award."

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 29, 2019
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