The Fauna …
These nocturnal animals spend much of the day in their setts, an extensive network of tunnels, but from late dusk it may be possible to see the family come out to forage. Note: it a serious offence to kill, injure or take a badger, or to damage or interfere with the sett.
Bat boxes have been placed within the mature riverside trees to promote bat roosting and conservation.
The Muntjac deer originates from South East Asia and was introduced into Woburn Park in Bedfordshire, during the 19th century, by the Duke of Bedford. Subsequent escapes, from Woburn and Whipsade Zoo, and successful establishment in the countryside, make it one of the most common deer species in southern England.
The long grassland, log piles and scrub habitats provide a range of habitats suitable for reptiles. The two mound features provide basking areas and hibernation sites. The best time to see reptiles is after they emerge from hibernation in the spring and on summer mornings, when they are warming their cold blood for the coming day. Two legally protected species in the Park are:
Common Lizard: These small dark bronze coloured reptiles are fast moving and can grow up to 15 cm in length. They can often be seen basking in full sunshine. They give birth to live young and eat a range of invertebrates including spiders.
Grass Snake: Travelling great distances, these snakes are often found near water and will readily swim. They can be grey to green in colour with a distinctive yellow and black band behind the head. They are not poisonous. Marshy areas provide ideal habitat for them to hunt for their amphibian prey.
Adder: The adder is recognised by a dark zigzag running down the legth of the spine and an inverted ‘V’ shape on the neck. Males are generally white or pale grey with a black zigzag. Females are a pale brown with a darker brown zigzag. Although poisonous they are not aggressive. Males are up to 60 cm long, females are larger.
Although the Water vole has been seen further up the river, there is no evidence that they are in the Riverside Park area.