Wood mouse, Apodemus slyvaticus
The biggest change will be to the corner pond area at the exit of the Hedgerow. You may have noticed at the end of last year we had already added a couple of Rudd and Tench to the pond. Now we are removing some of the Rush surrounding the pond and making the area 'escape proof' for Water Shrews. Water Shrews are good climbers but not very adept at jumping, so a smooth surface is being placed along the back walls of this enclosure. Then, very similar to the way we feed our Waters Voles, we will put a little island in the pond to try and tempt these elusive creatures out to feed.
Unlike most Shrews, you can keep Water Shrews in groups. We have a pair which will be released into their new home at the end of the week. Then following this we will add later in the year a few more frogs, toads and newts.
Unfortunatley I do not have a picture of a Water Shrew... yet!... but they are the largest of the shrew family in the UK, they have black fur on top and white fur underneath, and what look like little white eyebrows! They really are quite fascinating creatures to look at and watch.