News

4 / July / 2022


Volunteers from DTZ Investors join Citizen Zoo on the Hogsmill River in Kingston Upon Thames to create a healthy habitat for the reintroduction of Water Voles!

On Thursday, 30th June, an excited band of volunteers from DTZ Investors were thrilled to join Citizen Zoo on the Hogsmill River in Kingston Upon Thames. Citizen Zoo is a social enterprise focused on Rewilding Our Future to create a world filled with wildlife and a world filled with the full spectrum of diversity, beauty, and abundance in nature.

The DTZ Investors team got fully stuck into a day removing invasive Himalayan Balsam and infilling with native plants. This work forms part of a wider project Citizen Zoo are undertaking at the site, in partnership with Thames Water, to reintroduce Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius) to the Hogsmill River. Water Voles are sadly the UK’s fastest declining wild mammal; without proactive conservation measures, they’ll likely be lost forever. The last official record of Water Voles in Kingston was in 2017, and they are now extinct throughout the Hogsmill catchment. The Hogsmill River has a special affinity with water voles, and local residents speak of a time only 30 years ago when these furry critters were teaming in our rivers. The famous Millais painting ‘Ophelia’ depicting the Hogsmill river was originally set to feature a water vole until art critics thought it would be mistaken for a rat!

The work undertaken by the DTZ Investors team has helped prepare the river and its banks for the impending reintroduction of Water Voles to the site in August. Ben Stockwell, Urban Rewilding Officer and leader of the project at Citizen Zoo, commented, “It was fantastic to have the team from DTZ Investors volunteer with us on Thursday and take another small step towards creating a healthy habitat for the reintroduction of Water Voles!”. The team are hugely grateful for the opportunity to volunteer with Citizen Zoo and look forward to furthering the relationship through hopefully assisting on future projects.

If you would like to learn more about the project, please visit https://www.citizenzoo.org/our-work/water-voles/ and https://www.citizenzoo.org/get-involved/donate/ to donate.