There are a wide range of mammals living around the surrounding countryside and no doubt in many people's houses. The group has signed up to a national recording scheme for small mammals which involves setting humane traps along 100m lines. Setting the traps in the evening and then seeing what has been caught the next morning is one of the popular events we have run for children in the village. The picture on the right shows some of the results we have sent off to the national recording scheme. We have a reasonably healthy population of water voles in the Jordan and Osmington brook. They are generally quite shy animals although sometimes they don't seem at all perturbed by people watching them. We have found them to more widely spread than we thought which we discovered by accident preparing for another children's event. This involved laying out shallow trays filled with smoothed over clay and putting them out in the evening and seeing what has run through them during the night. The other picture shows some Water Vole tracks from an area we didn't know had voles in. For those that are interested the first and fifth toes stick out almost at right angles which are quite different to all other small mammal tracks. Also in the picture you can see a track from a Heron which several people in the village have seen preying on the voles.
We have most of the larger mammals one would expect in the countryside such as Badger, Fox and Roe Deer, Rabbits and Stoats. Unfortunately we haven't had any records over the last year of Brown Hare which could often been seen in the fields along the valley to Osmington. One surprise was a dead Polecat found at the top of Plaisters Lane, this is the most common way people know they are in the area.
We will be carrying on with our surveys so reports of any unusual sitings are all welcome and should be fed back to John Newbould. If you wish to help us with our survey work please contact Dave Emery. 

Small mammal survey results.

Water Vole tracks.