Mammals

Mammals are seen less often than many other creatures. Only grey squirrels, foxes, pipistrelles and brown rats are fairly frequently sighted and there may be more species of small mammals on Narroways than we realise.

Foxes were commonly seen at night (and even by day) until mange devastated local foxes in 1995. Some still suffer but overall they are now making a significant recovery. There was a family of five on the embankment in July 2004. A local resident regularly feeds one fox family. Foxes sometimes sunbathe on the embankment.

There is at least one local badger sett that has been occupied for over 20 years. Badgers regularly visit a garden in Narroways Road for peanuts. More recently, a large sett has been established on the Narrroways site itself – it continues to expand, with new entrances being dug every few months.

Surprisingly, a roe deer was seen in a back garden of Narroways Road on
3 June 2007, with further deer reports in Ashley Vale allotments on 9 July 2007 and in Boiling Wells valley on 21 April 2008. These are likely to be roe as well but could be muntjac. Increased dense cover on the railway sides seems to be helping the spread of deer.

Name Latin name Notes
*Fox Vulpes vulpes Commonly seen at night (and even sometimes by day) in the area until mange decimated local foxes in 1995. Slight return but still disease-prone.
*Badger Meles meles There is a local badger sett that has been occupied for at least 20 years. Very occasionally spotted.
* Mole Talpa europaea One report from August 1986 – no evidence since.
* Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus Seen periodically at night & early morning on allotments, footpaths and Narroways.(seen as early as March and as late as November)
* Common Shrew Sorex araneus Reported under sheet corrugated iron on Narroways (HMcP 7.4.1987)
Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus Common – seen on streams, allotments, gardens in area. One was caught by kestrel from allotment (HMcP 4.11.1985)
House Mouse Mus musculus Probably common
*Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus Several reports from Narroways – including evidence of food store
*Field Vole Microtus agrestis Several reports from Narroways- mostly under sheets of corrugated iron in long grass where one nest seen
*Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis Over a dozen sightings since 1996 – Particularly in trees by Ashley Hill and Simon’s Grove (where drey seen)
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus Several reports from near railway lines in area.
*Pipistrelle Bat Pipistrellus pipistrellus Dozens of reports dating back to 1986. Mostly seen in July – up to 16 bats seen over area (HMcP 18.7.2000)
Noctule Nyctalus noctula Persistent evidence of larger bats than Pipistrelles – 25-30 kHz signal, direct flight. Confirmed as Noctule (BH 27.7.2001)

* = Actually seen on Narroways

HMcP = Harry McPhillimy: BH = Robert Howard

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