Sometimes the snow reveals secrets of the natural world. Tracks and traces, showing which animals have been where, are left clearly for all to see. We found these signs left in the snow around some plants in an unused, wasteland area near the village. Clearly, the seeds of these chicory plants poking out above the snow proved to be a vital snack for the birds.

Although these unused areas and margins seem like useless spaces in these times when food and shelter can be hard to find, they can be a lifeline for many animals. In Western Europe, it seems that every piece of land must have a purpose and must be kept in order. The joy of our region’s landscape is that there is still room for this beautiful mess that provides a refuge for so many species.

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