St. Leonards on Sea
Water Voles can be seen near streams and canals. Water voles prefer slow-flowing water because they are not very strong swimmers. They always keep their noses above water and swim 'doggy paddle' style. They make ‘plop’ sounds when they jump into water.
The Water Vole is small animal with a round plump body. The body is covered with a silky chestnut-brown fur. The Water Vole has a long thin brown tail which is covered with lots of tiny hairs.
The face of the Water Vole is short and fat with two small bulging eyes. Its nose is not very pointed. It has short furry ears that are almost hidden in the fur. The ears have flaps of skin inside. These flaps of skin stop water getting into the ears when the Water Vole swims.
The Water Vole has five toes on its back feet and four toes on its front feet. The first and fifth toes on the back feet are spread apart. Water Voles leave star-shaped foot prints behind them when they walk on muddy ground.
The Water Vole uses the four little toes on its front feet to hold onto food. When the Water Vole eats, it sits hunched over and gnaws at the food with its sharp front teeth. The front teeth are a bright orange colour!