As we walk through the industrial estate I see a small, very cute, brown face with whiskers staring out of the undergrowth.
It comes out and I’m shocked at just how large it is.
It’s a Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus, which, despite its scientific name, isn’t originally from Norway at all. It originated in China and spread throughout Europe and North America to wherever people live. That may sound like a familiar story to you.
Humans produce a quite insane super-abundance of food and waste vast quantities of it, which makes the number of children who go without meals even more shocking. There’s plenty to go round the local rat population.
Just look at those beautiful paws:
These Brown Rats are feasting upon bird seed left by someone intending to feed the Robins and Blackbirds.
They’re so clean, so healthy and so beautiful, you’d never guess they would have such a complicated relationship with humanity.