I like rabbits and deer. To eat. But not alive, especially not in the garden. Roe, fallow and muntjacs have been seen in the forest behind our paddock and we were unfortunate to inherit a rabbit warren when we bought The Long House. It took me a couple of years to rid the place of the blessed things using ferrets, traps and slightly less humane methods and involved putting chicken wire around the existing fencing to keep them out. But recently I could see them all at dusk, lurking and planning a mass invasion so it was obviously time to reinforce our defences. Before and after pictures below, as well as Darren and Kelvin of Wynne’s Fencing taking a breather - well, wouldn’t you if you had to dig 19 three foot deep holes through flint and chalk in a heatwave.
Meanwhile Taz and Inky (the dogs) have been making their own contributions to the demise of the local animal population: Taz has caught a couple of rabbits while Inky has a penchant for pouncing on unsuspecting field mice and tossing them into the air until they are lifeless. They are also quite fond of squirrels, swooping on the bodies of the occasional victim of my air rifle but then having a silent stand-off to decide who owns the corpse.
Talking of rabbits reminds me of my favourite cricketing bunny, Barrie Lloyd. A Grasshopper, Barrie regularly played against my club, Oatlands Park, in days of yore, and he fell for my sucker ball every year. Tim in the slips and Graham in the gulley were usually the happy recipients of his generosity. Oh happy days, happy memories. For old times sake, here he is though sadly not in his flannels:
Still on the subject of rabbits, our dilapidated garden gate also needed replacing lest they crept in or, for that matter,Taz hopped out. Luckily our neighbour Chris Pinner is a master joiner and within a couple of weeks he’d designed and built a new one. I also discovered he’s a master topiarist. His artistry reminded me of the amazing but bonkers statues at the Italian garden at Bomarzo and that convinced Chris he needs to plant a few more box bushes.
I’ve only briefly mentioned mice. Rabbits are a latent threat here but the blasted mice are rampant…somehow they’re getting into the greenhouse at night and decimating Rosie’s seedlings. Inky, your expertise is required.