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Here’s the full story, the Brown Rat , Rattus norvegicus

The Brown Rat is a native of central Asia which was introduced to the British Isles around 1720. It has subsequently spread throughout the British Isles, and indeed much of the temperate world, carried especially by humans in ships. There is little doubt that due to it’s capacity to breed and ability to adapt to most environments the It has come into conflict with humans. An while this invasive species can be a real problem , for me personally when in the wild it has a charm , personality and a playful nature.

Common rats are not territorial, but live in loose colonies with a hierarchy determined largely by size and age. There seem to be small family groups within the colony. Rats dig their own burrows, and entrances are usually joined by obvious well-used runs. In hedgerows, the males may have ranges averaging 600m, and females 340m, but in food stores may be as small as 65m. Reproduction is observed all year round in human dwellings.

Rat Facts : Rats love water and can swim up to a mile nonstop

The Brown Rat has Greyish-brown fur, a prominent pointed muzzle, eyes, large ears and long, almost naked, tail, about the same length as the head-and-body. Much larger than any mice, but comparable with the much darker, shorter-tailed water vole in general size, the Brown Rat is less ‘chubby’ in appearance. Head & body: 15-27cm. Tail length: 10.5-24cm. Weighing 40g at weaning, up to 600g as an adult. Most Brown Rats are usually Between 200-300g.

Rat Facts : Originating from central Asia, the brown rat was introduced into the UK in the 1700s

Reproduction is observed all year round in human dwellings. Females can begin to breed at 3-4 months old, and if food is readily available may breed continuously, but typically have five litters a year. Litter size increases from around 6 in young females weighing 150g, to 11 in females of 500g, but the maximum recorded is 22. The young are born blind and hairless, but their eyes open at 6 days, and they are weaned at about 3 weeks. Young rats can be important food for owls, and many carnivores, including polecats, stoats and foxes, taking substantial numbers of rats.

Rat Facts : A group of rats is called a mischief. Male rats are bucks, while females are referred to as does.

The brown rat is a true omnivore and will consume almost anything, but cereals form a substantial part of its diet. Surplus animal feed, including the fallout from bird feeders, often attracts them. Foraging behaviour is often population-specific, and varies by environment and food source. Examples have been found of rats eating birds and diving for molluscs where the food source is abundant. They will feed on many things in urban environments including food scraps from houses and restaurants.

Rat Facts : Are you. Rat ? The answer is yes according to the Chinese calendar if you were born in 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, or 2008. People born under the rat are traditionally thought to be cunning, witty, and prosperous.

Few survive more than 1 year in the wild but can live for around 4—6 years in captivity. The Brown rat is abundant and widespread throughout the U.K., no overall population estimate is available. However, according to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species resource, the U.K. population of this species is around 6,790,000 individuals. Overall, Brown rats’ numbers are stable today, and this animal is classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. The Brown rat is considered one of the most prominent pests around in the U.K. and is a carrier of diseases highly dangerous to humans, including Weil’s disease, plague and numerous other diseases. Hence, this animal is persecuted and killed worldwide.


The Mole , Talpa euopaea Moles are a regular visitor at the Meadow Hide , we have never seen one which is normal but the evident there , with their distinctive mole hills periodically appearing in the grass path to the hide. The mole is a small mammal that spends most of it’s life underground…


Slow worm , Anguis fragilis With long, smooth, shiny, grey or brown bodies, slow worms look very similar to a small snakes and can grow up to 50cm long. In fact the Slow worm is a legless lizard , and are quite harmless to humans. Slow worms like humid conditions and emerge from their hiding…


The Reeves Muntjac (   Muntiacus reevesi )  is a small stocky deer , with a distinctive haunched appearance , with a rusty brown coat which turns  a dull shade of grey in winter. The Muntjac was named in 1812 after John Reeves of the East India Company. This non native species originated in south east Asia and was introduced to…

©️ 2021 All images recorded at the wildflower meadow hide.

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