Mice take the bait at nature reserve

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A THRIVING population of wood mice has been discovered on a wetland reserve which has flooded four times this year.

Once the site of an industrial steel works, the Centenary Riverside nature reserve in Sheffield is now managed by the Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham to act as a flood plain. It also provides a stepping stone for wildlife to move up and down the river corridor to other local green spaces. Ground nesting wetland birds have struggled because of the bad weather, but wetland plants have thrived. The site was awash with 30 different species of coloured wildflower and 10 types of grass.

The trust says the discovery of a healthy small mammal population of wood mice, shrews and bank voles, was an “unexpected bonus”, after traps were set around the reserve. The survey revealed that the site is particularly popular with wood mice, tiny nocturnal creatures with large eyes and ears which live in underground burrows.

Rob Miller, from the trust, said: “This is the first time we have collected evidence of these species on the reserve so it helps us build a picture of what’s living there and how to manage the area in the future.”