Immortalised as Ratty in Kenneth Graeme’s the Wind in the Willows, water voles were once one of our most familiar mammals. They have figured in folklore for centuries and have many local names, including water rat, water mole, crabber, waterdog, earth-hound and water campagnol. They are now extremely rare and need our help to come back to areas they once populated. Water voles are the largest of Britain’s voles and are often confused with brown rats. However, water voles have very small ears and a furry tail whilst rats have large ears and a bald tail. Water voles also have a blunt muzzle, unlike the pointed nose of a rat. Most of Wildwood’s water voles are behind the scenes, involved in breeding and release programmes.