We are facing the twin emergencies of climate breakdown and a collapse in biodiversity, with one in four species at risk of extinction in Scotland.

In Glasgow, we must take a step back from the brink and restore our natural environment, building a green, zero-carbon city.

We have to be committed to delivering the changes needed to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, as well as take the bold and urgent measures we need to protect and enhance our environment now and for future generations.

We can continue to ensure that we take action to protect some of the most threatened native mammals across Glasgow. Currently, we provide a home to the European Water Vole, which is one of the UK’s most threatened mammals and also, recognised as a nationally significant water vole species.

The water vole population has undergone a decline, and yet there is a stronghold of these small mammals found in the Greater Easterhouse area.

These water voles are occupying dry grassland habitats in parks and green spaces. In these locations, they are mostly fossorial, living a largely subterranean existence.

Many of the areas in Glasgow occupied by water voles have been identified for urban regeneration.

Therefore, there is a requirement for new techniques and detailed knowledge to help identify suitable habitats for them so these spaces can be protected during urban planning and city development.

Through research carried by the University of Glasgow, in partnership with the Council, NatureScot and Seven Lochs Wetland Park, an interactive web tool to map suitable habitats has been developed.

This is now being used to enable the conservation of the city’s unique water vole species.

This interactive resource can help to inform work to create a habitat network for Glasgow’s water vole population as part of wider urban regeneration programmes.

We know that these well-connected greenspaces also bring huge benefits to residents by supporting active travel journeys to work, education and leisure.

Through this action to protect the water vole, we can also deliver nature-based solutions to land management including enhanced surface water drainage and flood mitigation measures.

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species has been funding the University of Glasgow and the Council to carry out further research into how water voles in Glasgow differ from other water vole populations.

It is vital to consider ways to manage parks and open spaces to ensure the city’s water vole population is looked after.

There has been radio tracking of the water voles to find out how they respond to different grassland management arrangements and the findings are helping to maximise the opportunities for water voles to thrive in Glasgow and other cities across the UK.

In addition, through partnership working, a Seven Lochs and North East Glasgow Water Vole Conservation Action Plan provides a framework for both spatial planning decision-making and nature conservation activity between 2022-2026.

We need to become better informed and understand the importance of water vole conservation within Glasgow. This can ensure that the first fossorial water voles known in the UK stay safe for years to come.”