ANIMAL carers at Secret World Wildlife Rescue are celebrating after successfully rescuing and releasing a poorly water vole.

The animal rescue charity came to the water vole’s aid earlier this month after it was found collapsed and exhausted by a beach warden in Burnham.

Concerned for its survival, the warden brought the wet and sand-covered water vole to Secret World Wildlife Rescue’s animal centre in East Huntspill – five miles away from where the animal was found.

Animal carers at the charity believed the water vole was washed out to sea from the river mouth and became caught in the tidal waves.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

The charity was shocked that it had managed to make its way to the shore.

Dan Bryant, senior animal carer at Secret World, was the first carer to assess the animal. He said: “We did a full check on it immediately, gave it a warm bath and administered some much-needed fluids.

“We named him Walter. Thankfully, he pulled through and after some recuperation in his own swimming pool at Secret World, we successfully released him on Saturday.”

Dan described this as 'an important and critical rescue for Secret World'.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

"Water voles have been in decline for several years. They are shy mammals living on the banks of streams, rivers and waterways," he said.

Water Voles create a network of burrows on the waterside of different levels to allow for flooding and different chambers for nesting. They also create separate burrows to store food for the winter months.

“We’ve not had many water voles come through our doors and as time goes on, we’re seeing fewer and fewer. No doubt they have been affected by the hot weather and will welcome the rain when it comes,” Dan said.

The charity is currently looking for suitable release sites for any of its wild animals. If you can help, contact Jamie Kingscott, release manager, by emailing