Monday, 19 September 2016

Harvest Mice on Countryfile

Our harvest mice have been very successful this year, and so we have been able to continue our releases out on to our nature reserve. Having spotted more frequent activity on my morning walks with Bess around the boardwalk area, we decided to release this years mice a little further in to the reserve to encourage the spread throughout our land and hopefully connect up with previous litters we have released. 

Our releases have been such a success that they even caught the eye of the Countryfile team. They have filmed a piece on the work the Surrey Wildlife Trust do with monitoring harvest mice in the wild, but unfortunately were unable to find any mice in the lead up to filming. Therefore they sent Anita Rani to see us to actually see a mouse, and talk about the work we do here.

We filmed a short sequence on how we converted 26 acres of redundant farmland in to a nature reserve of a mosaic of habitats, and how introducing our harvest mice is not only good for bio-diversity but also as a indicator species for the habitat itself and how successful it is for wildlife.

All good news of course, and means one of our harvest mice gets to be a TV star!... (but not Barry, sorry Steve).

Of all the mice we release, only a small percentage will survive, but that is what is expected with a survival rate in the wild of only around 5% Unfortunately for the harvest mouse, one of their main roles is to be at the lower end of the food chain... but it is there presence, along with other mice and voles, that attracts in the stoats, weasels, barn owls, kestrels and many other predators that we see on our reserve.

If you want to see our mice on Countryfile, I believe it will be aired on the 2nd of October, but will let you know if that changes.

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