Belongs to: rodents

Compare with: field vole
water vole

Bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

A vole of woodland and hedgerow, sometimes visiting parks and gardens and even bird tables

Habitat: woods, hedges, dense scrub

Widespread across Britain and Europe


Reddish-brown back merging into grey sides; body 8–12 cm, tail up to 6 cm

An agile climber; digs runs and burrows in the soil and among roots; nocturnal and diurnal

Feeds on a wide range of plant material, including hazelnuts which are stored for winter; occasionally insects


Nest is a small well-made ball of moss, grasses and leaves, usually just below ground and often under logs

Up to 4 litters a year of up to 6 young, usually April to September

Lifespan is one or two years

  • photo

© David Corke