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Bank vole

Bank Vole

Clethrionomys glareolus

Key Facts

  • Length: 10cm plus a tail of 6cm
  • Weight: 15-40g
  • Average lifespan: 1.5 years

The Bank Vole lives in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. Bank Voles eat fruit, nuts and small insects, but are particularly keen on hazelnuts and blackberries.

They are very active animals and are frequently seen, sometimes even visiting bird tables. Bank Voles can have three or four litters a year, each with up to seven young.

How to Identify

Voles can be distinguished from mice by their rounder faces, smaller ears and eyes and shorter tails. The Bank Vole is a richer, chestnut brown than the Field Vole and has a proportionally longer tail.

Where to Find

Widespread, absent from most of the Channel Island, the Isles of Scilly, most Scottish islands, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

How People can Help

Although relatively common, if Bank Vole numbers decline, other species higher up the food chain, such as owls and Weasels, may suffer. The loss and fragmentation of our woodland, field margin and hedgerow habitats poses a threat to the Bank Vole. Working with farmers and landowners to ensure wildlife-friendly practices, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a Living Landscape: a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Did You Know?

The Bank Voles that live on Skomer island have evolved into a unique subspecies known as the Skomer Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus skomerensis) and are larger and more assured than their mainland cousins. Bank Voles may nest above ground where the soil is unsuitable, weaving special, round nests using grasses.

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