A SCHEME to rejuvenate a small stream in Yeovil is set to provide a better habitat for endangered water voles.

Work has started to improve Dodham Brook at Yeovil Country Park which runs from Goldenstones Leisure Centre through Ninesprings, and on to the Yeo Leisure Park where it joins the river Yeo.

The Yeovil Rivers Community Trust (YRTC) teamed up with South Somerset District Council (SSDC) on the project, as they hope to enhance “the quality and extent of habitat for water voles”.

Chard & Ilminster News: Dodham Brook. Pic: SSDCDodham Brook. Pic: SSDC

SSDC have said the project will do this “by providing more diversity of plants for them to eat, reducing invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam, increasing nesting opportunities along the riverside margins and creating corridors to link aquatic habitats within the park”.

Lorne Thomson, chair of YRCT, said: "Yeovil Rivers Community Trust is very excited about this project. Yeovil Country Park is a huge asset to the town and we are very lucky to have it.

“The proposed enhancement works will help to make the park even more attractive and enjoyable for the public. Wildlife will also benefit significantly from the improvements, especially the water vole and kingfisher populations resident in the park.

“We hope to attract new species of birds, insects and animals and help to protect the park and its wildlife from the negative impacts of climate change. This project embodies the trust's aims to improve the environment for the benefit of people and wildlife.”

Chard & Ilminster News: YRCT volunteers. Pic: SSDCYRCT volunteers. Pic: SSDC

According to SSDC, the project is also set to “transform” the stream, making it a “picturesque waterway” for visitors.

Countryside manager at SSDC, Rachael Whaites, added: “We are lucky to be working in partnership with the YRCT on this project.

“They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and it is not something we could achieve without them.

“Our water vole population is very isolated in the Ninesprings section of the brook, so anything we can do to help them will ensure this population remains viable for the future.

“The improvements for other wildlife along the brook and for our visitors is also really important to our management of the country park and we look forward to seeing these changes transform the brook over the next couple of years.”