There were reindeer here in Britain in large numbers around the time of the last ice age, 35,000 to 50,000 years ago. There were wild herds of reindeer in Scotland right up until the 13th century when, like so many of our large native herbivores, they were hunted to extinction.

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Migration changes

Analysis of records kept since 1964 has found that some species of European migratory birds are spending up to 60 days less each year in their sub-Saharan wintering grounds. Over the most recent 27-year period, migratory birds, including the whitethroats commonly seen in our reserve, were found to have increased their time in Europe by an average of 16 days. It has even been suggested that some species may stop flying south for the winter altogether.

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That could have been the longest official heatwave, with temperatures over 35°C, that the UK has ever recorded. As it breaks and the thunder rolls around the hills, here, just for the fun of it, is a link to a website where you can watch the storms as they happen.

Fantastic Mrs Fox

No, we haven’t seen an arctic fox in the park; that would be silly. Instead, here is the irresistible story of a record-breaking journey undertaken by an arctic fox, which demonstrates the resilience and adaptability of all the vulpine species, our common red fox included. It also raises questions, pertinent to everybody, about the effects of the frighteningly rapid loss of arctic ice.

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