THE region's water supplier is urging Worcestershire to become wet, wild and wonderful to safeguard wildlife.

Severn Trent launched its 12-month conservation campaign after new figures came to light showing 75 per cent of Britain's ponds had vanished during the past century.

Since the 1940s, the figures showed, wet grasslands declined by more than 40 per cent and the number of reedbeds had plummeted.

"Playing on everyone's fascination with the web, the www.way campaign aims to bring colour back to our countryside and remind us of days when fields were full of buttercups and ladysmock and otters and water voles were common visitors to our rivers and streams," said Severn Trent spokesman Colin Green.


"Without action, more of our wetland habitats will disappear and with them some of the best loved and most unusual creatures.

"We all have a responsibility to protect our environment - our children deserve to have a countryside full of the richness of our yesterdays."

The wet, wild and wonderful campaign will focus on rivers and riverbanks, ponds, flood meadows, reedbeds and marshland, showing how global warming as well as man has played a part in habitat loss and what can be done to combat it.

Over the next 12 months, Severn Trent has pledged to create new habitats for water voles, otters and crayfish.