Work to help protect people from flooding while also conserving water voles is underway by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
Ffos Glanwern, the main drainage ditch for Upper Borth in Ceredigion, is being upgraded over the coming weeks to reduce flood risk.
The work involves widening the ditch and altering its course slightly, which will improve flood capacity and habitat for wildlife.
Along a short length of the ditch, timber support boards are being installed to stabilise the banks.
But before any work could start, NRW had to check that water voles, a protected species which have been recorded in the area, would not be harmed by the work.Virginija Hill, from NRW’s Flood Management Team said: “We made sure water voles were not present in the part of the ditch where we wanted to work.
“We are now able to work in the ditch to reduce flood risk to at least 10 properties.
“Once completed, the work will provide ideal conditions for water voles, and we hope that young voles will move into the ditch from nearby water courses in the autumn.”
The work to widen the ditch and adapt its course is being done in a way that will minimise damage to the peat.
Peat is an important resource which locks in vast amounts of carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere contributing to climate change.
Virginija Hill added: “Our approach to the work ensures minimum impact on the peat while enabling the ditch to carry more water and flow freely.
“We’re very grateful to local people for their support and patience as the work goes on.
“It’s all about striking a balance. The whole project is a good example of finding a sustainable solution in the interests of people, the environment and wildlife."
Further work will be completed next year.