Given the temperature outside it’s hard to imagine that our May magazine is due out this week. The birds are scoffing the food from the bird feeder in my, er, ‘garden’ quicker than I can get up the ladder to refill it. The cat, reluctant to venture out into the cold, growls at the birds from the inside window ledge and looks at me contemptuously for giving them priority in the feeding line. He doesn’t realise how lucky he is, of course, having no need to spend his days and nights searching for food to feed a young family and protecting them against predators. Travelling round the county recently I seem to have seen far more dead animals on the roads than normal. And a bigger range of victims, too. We’re used to rabbits being caught in the headlights or grouse caught in two minds about which way to to go, but over the last few weeks I’ve also seen badgers, foxes, stoats, hares and even a red squirrel on the road between Threshfield and Kettlewell… I do hope the reds are successful in colonising Grassington Woods and surrounding areas. There’s not a great deal we can do to stop deaths on the roads but we can do something about maintaining hedges and walls and planting trees to help establish animal highways. But right now there’s a blue tit perched by the empty bird feeder, complaining bitterly about the poor service at this particular takeaway so I’d better go get the ladders out again…

Photo: Chris Hopkins

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