Mammal ID day at Devil’s Beef Tub

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IF YOU don’t know your pygmy shrew from any other small furry, Borders Forest Trust’s (BFT) Mammal ID day could be a diary date.

The short walk (one kilometre return) will be at the Devil’s Beef Tub, north of Moffat, which is part of the trust’s Corehead Farm, on May 18, when county mammal recorder Andy Riches will talk about animals found there.

A spokesperson for BFT said: “It will be a case of playing detective, as most of these mammals are nocturnal, looking for signs of their presence like where they have been feeding and taking shelter, but Andy will also explain about DNA analysis of droppings as a method of surveying wildlife.

“It is important to protect numbers of small mammals because they are a food source for larger animals such as owls, buzzards and other birds of prey.

“Andy predicts an increase in badgers, squirrels and otters in the area thanks to the ongoing conservation work. He hopes to also see more water vole, which are suffering from the introduction of non-native mink to the UK.”

The Ancrum-based conservation charity bought the 1,580-acre farm in 2009 after an 18-month campaign to raise the £700,000 needed and has been undertaking conservation work since.

For more information on the mammal day, visit www.bordersforesttrust.org/news-events or ring Corehead site manager Phil Roe on 07713 566295 for details and to book a place.