Flora and fauna – what did the Romans ever do for us?

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Rabbit poo !

It’s not just birds that have a tough time in hard winters, some of our mammals struggle too.

I’ve just been a wander in the (disappearing) snow and spotted these bark-stripped branches where rabbits have been at work. Along with much of our wildlife, rabbits struggle to feed in the winter months, only the fittest surviving.

They produce two types of droppings by the way; the first of which they re-eat, which sounds disgusting, but is in fact necessary for their nutrition and for the ‘good’ bacteria it contains (if they don’t have it, they starve)…sort of natural Yakult.

It was the Romans who introduced rabbits to Britain 2000 years ago and as you’ve probably noticed we have large population fluctuations around New Mills. Myxomatosis, introduced in the 1950’s by man but passed on by the rabbit flea, seems to rear its very ugly head when our populations are large. (FS)

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