Well the latest attempt to get a trailcamera image of the big black (or the smaller brown) cats which have been reported in and around Huddisford Woods has been a spectacular disappointment.
We placed the trailcam in the bushes alongside a small trackway which has - over the past few months - been used by various animals including at least one medium sized carnivore. Richard has identified some prints we found thgere as probably being from a cat.
So we placed a trailcam at POV fox level, and left it there for three and a bit weeks. We went back for it on wednesday night, and much to our relief, despite having been on public land, it had not been nicked.
Even more excitingly there were nearly 5,000 images on it.
However, all but six images seemed to have been caused by branches moving in the wind. Two just had blurs on them that could have been anything, two showed a small bird of indeterminate species, and two others showed the blurry head and neck of a cock pheasant.
I think that if we are to put a camera in these undtrodden ways we have to leave it for longer. I have a suspicion that just by invading the space to put the camera down, Richard caused enough disruption to the environment to make anything larger and less foolhardy than the pheasant to keep away.
There is a lesson here for us I think.