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factual
OPEN COUNTRY
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Open Country
Sat  6.10 - 6.35am
Thurs 1.30 - 2.00pm (rpt)
Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
This week
Saturday 14 October 2006
Listen to this programme in full
In this week’s Open Country, Helen Mark travels to Herefordshire’s Golden Valley to see the re-introduction of the water vole into the River Dore.
Over the past century, the British water vole population has decreased by 95%. A combination of the introduction of mink and decline of river habitats has caused this once robust animal to be one of the country’s most threatened.

Derek Gow, a water vole breeder guides Helen through the release process.

Helen also discovers that The Dore was once one of the most productive trout rivers in England. But over the last 30 years, the wild trout and grayling populations have declined. And it’s partly due to the decline of the clog-making industry. Find out why by clicking on the listen again button.

But now the river has been regenerated by the Game Conservancy Trust. The Alder trees have been coppiced, the mink are being controlled and water voles are being released. Join Helen as she rediscovers the natural history of the Golden Valley which many thought had been lost for good.
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