Naturally Native

Naturally Native will stop the decline of our native water voles in the North East of England and ensure they can, once again, thrive along our rivers, streams and ponds.

With thanks to players of the National Lottery, Durham, Northumberland and Tees Valley Wildlife Trusts are working together to prevent the loss of one of our fastest declining species.  

Water voles, once common across the UK, have disappeared from over 95% of their former range leaving the species in a critical state and at threat of being lost completely from the lowlands of the North East.  This drastic decline is the compounding effect of two main causes.  Habitat loss and fragmentation has resulted in contracted, small and isolated populations of water voles which are incredibly vulnerable to the second major cause of decline: predation from introduced American mink. 

Working at a landscape scale to address both these issues, Naturally Native will prevent the inevitable loss of water voles from the lowlands and provide opportunities for this much loved mammal to re-colonies our river, streams and ponds.

What will we achieve?

Between Jan 2021 and October 2023, Naturally Native will be working across the Tyne, Wear and Tees River Catchments, creating a richer environment for wildlife and people.

The project will improve over 10km of riparian habitat and remove American mink to allow remaining water vole populations to expand in size and range. In addition to water voles, a wealth of other native wildlife will benefit including wetland bird populations, invertebrates and fish.  

The Naturally Native team will be working with young people across the North East to build skills and knowledge in local conservation issues. In addition, there will be opportunities for local communities to join in celebrating and enjoying our natural heritage as we work to restore balance within wetland ecosystems and shape a future where wildlife can thrive.

Get Involved

Naturally Native is a fantastic opportunity for the North East to come together and make a stand against biodiversity loss.  For more information on the project or to get involved please contact Mark Slaughter info@teeswildlife.org

Young Volunteers

The Wildlife Trusts are dedicated to engaging the future custodians of our planet in our work and Naturally Native provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to get involved in preventing biodiversity loss in the North east, whilst learning more about current conservation issues and our natural environment.

Young Volunteer Groups

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust Young Rangers (14 – 19 year olds) – meet usually the first Saturday of each month. Visit Events – Tees Valley Wildlife Trust (teeswildlife.org) to book onto upcoming sessions.

Durham Wildlife Trust Naturally Native Young Rangers (14 – 18 year olds) – meet usually the first Saturday of each month. Book your place on each session at Events | Durham (durhamwt.com).

Northumberland Wildlife Trust Young Rangers (16 – 18 year olds) – meet usually the first Saturday of each month.

Please contact NaturallyNative@durhamwt.co.uk for more information on any of the above groups.

Secondary Education

We have an exciting and engaging education program for secondary schools, eco and STEM clubs or other groups of a similar age range. Please contact us on NaturallyNative@durhamwt.co.uk to receive a copy of our Secondary Education Brochure or to book a visit. 

 All sessions have been developed by a secondary education specialist and support the national curriculum. There will be no cost for the delivery of sessions thanks to funding from the National Lottery.

Naturally Native Facebook Page

And don’t forget……. Share your sightings of water voles, American mink and otters with us.

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