When we left Laroque for Christmas and New Year in London and Harrogate, we thought we’d left most wildlife behind too. Not so. It seems as if wherever you are in South London, you’re only yards from a fox’s lair. Tom and Sarah refused to share our excitement at seeing so many. ‘They’re on the station every night when we come home from work’, they yawned. ‘They’re quite mangy anyway’. We didn’t think so. We loved to see them trotting spiritedly along the street once darkness had fallen, sniffing round the dustbins for Christmas turkey.
Back in Harrogate, the birds we thought would have abandoned our garden, now we aren’t there to feed them regularly, have quite simply moved in. Chaffinches hunt for seed, blackbirds tug at worms, and all of them relish the garden pond for regular bathing sessions in the all-but-frozen water. They’re obviously glad we’ve not been there to disturb them