Water voles are set to be released into the wild near Taunton after being removed from their habitat while building work was taking place.

Forty of the endangered animals, including some babies, were taken into captivity nearly a year ago.

This was ensure their safety while construction was carried out on a new business park near the M5 in Taunton, Somerset.

The work has now been completed so the animals can return to their home this weekend (September 5).

Read next: Action photo of dramatic rescue of horse from water-filled ditch in Yatton

Specialist Jenny Tratt said a section of the stream had been fenced off and "re-vegetated" to make sure the habitat was "not touched by the construction at all".

The water vole is fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 - making it illegal to damage or obstruct access to their burrows.

It is estimated that as much as 94 per cent of Britain's vole population has disappeared, according to a ten-year study.

The reasons include being the victims of changes in farming practices, the loss of their wetlands and the predatory instincts of the American mink.