Ashbourne flood defence work halted by voles' presence

The presence of water voles has delayed work to improve flood defences in a Derbyshire town.

The Environment Agency was to work on defences at Henmore Brook in Ashbourne this summer.

Project officer Vaughan Felton said it would now be at least another month before the animals could be moved to allow work to go ahead.

He said flood defence work would continue in other parts of Derbyshire while the animals were moved.

Mr Vaughan said: "We tried to prevent them from moving into the area before we started the works but they colonised the area.

"The aim is now to dissuade them from inhabiting this area and if that doesn't work then we will have to get the traps out [and relocate the animals].

"We need to do that work under licence because they are protected species."

Homes and businesses in Ashbourne were badly flooded in September 2008.

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