The following tale was sent to the Trust from a couple in Nutfield:
In April and May this year, we had been away for six weeks visiting our daughter in New Zealand and shortly after our return, my husband (Jonathan Holland, who is a Life Member of Surrey Wildlife Trust), took out our Mazda MX5 sports car to drive two miles into Redhill. As he was driving, he suddenly became aware of a field mouse clinging on for dear life to one of the windscreen wipers. He pulled into a layby and the mouse – whose home had suddenly become mobile – raced back under the bonnet. After some persuasion, it rather reluctantly scuttled off the car and under a hedge. When my husband got back home, he raised the bonnet and discovered a very large collection of hazel nut shells which we removed. We thought that was the end of the story.
However, a few days later, I drove the 140 miles to Gloucestershire and was aware that the car had lost some of its “get–up–and–go”. On arrival at my destination, I mentioned this problem to my friends – the husband, who is ‘mechanically literate’, opened up the bonnet to discover that the air filter was not functioning properly. On lifting the filter ‘sponge’ out, he found the problem – an enormous cache of peanuts – 4 lbs. to be exact! (see photo). Our large supply of peanuts kept in a cupboard in the garage to feed the birds, had obviously proved irresistible.
So our poor mouse had not only lost its home, but also a food supply for life!
Needless to say, the car has completely ‘recovered’ and driving it is a joy once again – except on the M25!
Maybe ‘Peanut Power’ will solve the vehicle fuel issue.
Jennifer Holland (Nutfield)