A Water Vole called Plop


Water Vole Sculpture

Water Vole in Ancaster Limestone

My Water Vole sculpture was inspired by encouraging news from a number of Water Voles re-introduction programmes, where there is evidence of thriving colonies, and some waterways where this elusive mammal has gained a stronghold.  Regular monitoring of these also suggests that the species remains vulnerable to further decline and extinctions.  Long-term habitat loss, mink predation and extreme weather events all affect the success of Water Vole populations.

A visitor to my Open Studio earlier in the year,  spent a good deal of time stroking and speaking softly to my Water Vole sculpture.  The carving is in Ancaster Limestone, which I finished with fine-grade abrasives, and this stone allows the polishing to create a silky-soft, smoothly tactile  surface.  We talked about Water Voles and her fondness for them, and she told me a lovely story.

She remembers as a child out walking with her mother who, upon seeing Water Voles swimming in the canal, pointed them out, and complained that there were too many ‘Plops’.   For years she thought that Water Voles were called Plops – but it was actually the affectionate term used by her mother because of the ‘plop’ sound they made as they leapt into the water as the family, walking along the towpath, came near.

So, we had a little naming ceremony, and my Water Vole sculpture is  now called Plop.


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