“Animals” is, of course, a bit vague. I’m not including bugs and birds here but pretty well everything else: Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians.
A Swedish visitor astounded me by saying “you don’t have much wildlife here, do you?” – in spite of having walked in the natural park. “We see a lot more walking in Sweden” he averred. I had an instant image of taiga forests with elk and bears tango-ing down the pathways. Certainly their are parks in the UK where you will always see deer, though they are not exactly “Wild”
Large animals are tricky to see here, partly because the populations are still recovering from extensive over-hunting. They are protected now but there is still an active hunting community, which gives animals that lack extreme natural caution a shortened life-expectancy. The terrain is rugged and some of the most exciting species are crepuscular – dawn and dusk lovers – or partly nocturnal. Others are just damn good at hiding in brush. Many a walker has asked me nervously whether we might see snakes and the answer is “Only if we are very lucky indeed” (not to everyone’s way of thinking). Nevertheless, there is a magnificent range of wildlife that I feel privileged to have seen. The table below details some of it and provides links to posts where I’ve written of the more interesting species or encounters with them.