Country diary: roe deer buck the trend of decline

Marshwood Vale, Dorset: Once hunted to near extinction, roe deer are now pushing into urban fringes to graze

It has been raining heavily all day and it’s dusk before I’m able to get outside and walk the dogs. They love going out at twilight, when animal scents rise with the low mist snaking up from damp ground.

We cross an old meadow next to the woods. The dogs strain and snuffle on their leads, heads down, zigzagging frantically. Swirls of rooks are flying into roost, clattering and cawing overhead.

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