Ratty’s back on the screen

Tuesday 7th November 2017

Released watervole, photo Lyle McCalmont

For those who are enjoying Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II programme on BBC One on Sunday evenings, there is the opportunity to tune in to a film produced with a much smaller budget compared to the BBC, but equally as enthralling.

The Project, delivered by Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission and Tyne Rivers Trust is reintroducing water voles to the Kielder area of Northumberland. It is funded by National Lottery players through a grant of £421,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and run from Kielder Castle.

The focus of the film may be water voles instead of hump back whales and coral reefs, but, for nature lovers of all ages, it is a joy to watch and highlights conservation work happening, not only in the UK, but in this region.

The four minute film can be viewed on the project’s Restoring Ratty Facebook page, by visiting www.nwt.org.uk/restoringratty or on YouTube, by searching for Restoring Ratty: Part 3 - The Release.

The film, made by Alnwick film maker Alan Fentiman, details the arrival of watervoles bred in captivity over the winter in Devon into the region, their transportation to the release site and their triumphant release into carefully selected ponds and burns in Kielder Water & Forest Park, much to the huge delight of volunteers and project leaders.

Should anybody watching the film feel inspired to get involved or learn more, then project officers Kelly Hollings or Graham Holyoak would love to hear from them. They can be contacted at Kielder Castle on: 01434 250898.