Small Mammal Survey,
18th /19th February, 2006.
1) Park Farm Cherry Orchard
The survey was carried out by Bridget Neame for the Kent Mammal Group.
Twenty-five non-lethal traps were laid near log-piles and other sheltered areas in the orchard, and in the surrounding hedges. The weather was cold and showery.
Results. The following specimens were trapped:
Day 1. In the Orchard: 2 x wood mice - Apodemus sylvaticus.
In the hedge: 1 x yellow-necked mouse - Apodemus flavicollis.
Day 2. In the Orchard: 2 x wood mice.
In the hedge: 1 x yellow-necked mouse.
1 x wood mouse.
2 x common shrews - Sorex araneus
Other species of which there was evidence: mole Talpa europea, rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus.
Comments (by Bridget Neame and Hazel Ryan). The lack of bank voles was surprising, and unexplained. The presence of yellow-necked mice was also a surprise. They are much less common than wood mice, and are usually associated with ancient or coppiced woodland. They are much more arboreal than other mice (apart from dormice). One was male and one female, indicating a small colony. The wood mice probably forage in the Orchard at night, and hide in the hedge area during the day.
2) Dadmans Shaw
Dadmans Shaw is a narrow strip of deciduous woodland leading south-west from Lynsted Lane 180m south of the Park Farm entrance drive (NGR TQ 942 600). Traps were laid at the same times as for the Orchard.
Results. The following species were recorded:
Day 1. 5 x wood mice.
Day 2. 9 x wood mice.
There was also evidence of fox, Vulpes vulpes ; rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus and badger, Meles meles.
R Baxter, 18.07.06