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Water voles face new foe in battle for survival

Conservationists in Sussex have done a remarkable job saving one of our rarest mammals.

The number of Water Voles at the Arundel Wetland Centre has soared in recent years, because they've been protected from their main predator - the alien American Mink.

But now, the Water Voles are facing a homegrown foe - the fearsome Stoat. Malcolm Shaw spoke to Paul Stevens of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust.

Swan lays six eggs during snowy weather

It may have been wet and cold for the rest of us, but a pair of black-necked swans at the WWT Arundel Wetland Centre produced six eggs during the recent snowy weather. The South American Swans usually begin to nest mid-winter.

Arnie and Laura guard their nest Credit: WWT Arundel Wetland Centre

Staff have given parents Arnie and Laura straw to insulate the eggs. Staff had to distract the protective male, while adding the straw.

The superviser of the ground team, Sam Halpin said: "While we had the swans away from the nest we checked the eggs. The shells are too thick to candle so we weighed them all to find that four of the eggs appear viable.”

After the cygnets hatch they may look something like this Credit: WWT Arundel Wetland Centre