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Mammals

A harvest mouse hiding in vegetationSmall mammals such as harvest mouse (left,photo credit Mike Dodd), field vole and common shrew may use floodplain meadows during the spring, when the meadows are allowed to grow for hay. 

The close proximity of rivers and their associated ditches and dykes provide a well connected network of riparian habitats that benefit otter, water vole and water shrew.  

Floodplain meadows can also provide good habitat for moles when not flooded. 

Plant diversity within floodplain meadows encourages a range of invertebrates, particularly early in the season, and the associated rivers are also insect-rich habitats. Bats depend wholly on insects for food, hunting along river corridors and over grassland. 

See Chapter 2 in our Handbook for more information about mammals and floodplain meadows.