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Within Plean Country Park you will come across a large number of animals, birds, butterflies and plants. What you see will depend on a number of things - including the time of year, the weather, how hard you look and how much noise you make.
Many of our visitors are keen to increase their knowledge of the outdoors and interested in identifying new plants and wildlife. To help you we have provided details of some of those you might find in the park.
So children, bring your chart with you, keep your eyes and ears open, don’t make too much noise, and if you are lucky you might see some of these animals.
Mole (Talpa europaea) Moles are small mammals with a cylindrical body about 12cm (5 in) long. They have velvety fur, tiny or invisable ears and eyes, a pink pointed nose and short powerful limbs with large paws used for digging.
Shrew (Sorex araneus) They look like a long nosed mouse but do not belong to the same family as a mouse they are in fact related to moles and hedgehogs. They have sharp spikey teeth, tiny eyes and small round ears. They have short dark velvety fur with lighter underparts. They find food mainly using their keen sense of smell. Shrews have a diet of insects, worms, slugs, snails and woodlice and manage to eat their own weight in a day. They are not often seen in the park as they spend most of their time underground. They do not however hibernate but spend the winter often among the dead leaves which have fallen from the trees.
Badger (Meles meles) If you are lucky enough to see one in the park , you will recognise the badger by its black and white head. It is the largest of a family of animals with a fairly strong odour.
The males are called boars, the females are known as sows and babies are called cubs. A full grown boar is bigger than a sow and measure about 1 m (3ft) from nose to tail and weighs about 14kg (30lbs) which is about the size of a Labrador but with short legs.
Rabbit (Oryctolagus ciniculus) Originally from Spain and South-West
France, rabbits are social animals and live in groups of about 6-10 adults together with their young, in burrow systems called warrens. Warren tunnels can be 1-2 metres long and the nest at the end of the tunnel is lined with grass, moss and belly fur. The males are called bucks, the females are known as does and the babies are called kittens. They are grey-brown in colour on the back, under parts are paler grey. The upper side of their short fluffy tail is also grey-brown and the underside is white. Rabbits have compact bodies, long ears and powerful hind legs. They are most active at dawn and dusk and can often be seen grazing and browsing on grass, herbs and the branches and leaves of woody plants.
Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)
This deer stands about 70cm tall (28in) and is our most common native deer often recognised by its distinctive white rump. It is brown in colour, reddish in the summer and in winter it turns dark grey. The male deer is known as a buck and the female is a doe and tend to be found in ones and twos, not usually in large groups. They are often found feeding on the edge of a woodland where trees meet fields or on quiet paths. The best times to find them are early morning and at dusk. They are quite shy of humans so if you see one in the park, stay quiet, keep your distance and hope for a good long view.