Pupils at The Mead Community Primary School are taking part in a project to protect water voles in Paxcroft Brook, after two schoolgirls wrote a letter expressing their concern about the state of the brook.

Eloise Adlam and Stephanie Beacom, both 10, wrote to Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust to ask for help clearing the overgrown vegetation and rubbish when they spotted voles in the brook.

The council replied to the letter offering help and now the Year 5 pupils at the school are taking part in a project to clean the brook and study the voles as part of their endangered species topic this term.

Eloise said: “We saw some water voles and noticed there was lots of litter in the brook, so we thought we should do something as it was damaging their habitat.

“We wrote to the council and they got in touch with the school and said they could get us some equipment. There are four groups of Year 5 children who take it in turns to come down on Thursdays to help.

“I’m passionate about wildlife and animals and the water voles are really endangered, so it was important we did something.”

As part of the project, a representative from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has visited the pupils to speak about wildlife conservation and the children have also been doing research on water voles.

Mel Jacob, who runs the gardening club, said: “They are doing research into the habitats of water voles and how they can help conserve them. It’s something they clearly care about and the project also involves litter picking down at the brook to clear the stream, which gives them a chance to look at the voles in their natural habitat.

“What we love most about it is that it has come from the children and it is something that concerns them. Eloise and Stephanie showed great initiative and were prepared to take action.”