Meet the neighbours
Every now and then, the rangers have to have an office day. On one of these, they had a nice surprise when they looked out of the window.
An adult stoat ran across the grass towards the wood pile. After seeing this, the rangers kept their eyes peeled and discovered a family of stoats living around the yard.
What they look like
Stoats are an orangey brown, with a white underbelly. They can be as big as 32cm long, plus their tail (with a dark tip) of about 14cm.
Stoats and people
The stoats don't appear to be afraid or unsettled by the presence and activity of people. The log pile has been moved and the family is still playing and hunting with no apparent worries with regard to the rangers comings and goings.
Stoats typically feed on rabbits and rats. When they make a kill but aren't in need of food at that particular time, they store their catch for later consumption. Evidence of this was found when the log store was moved - all that remained was a small pile of fur...
The weasel is a smaller member of the same family and the National Trust rangers at Parke have been lucky enough to see some out and about.