I was wondering what sort of animals populated England's forests at the time.

I'm aware that rabbits were introduced in the late 1100s, but not much else.

Oh, specifically, northern England, south of Hadrien's Wall of course.

First, there was a lot MORE forest- a LOT! If it isn't immediately around a town, it was forest, pretty much (not in the SW, iirc). The forests were depleted over the generations as populations more and more fields and various industries demanded more and more fire, far faster than they grew back.

Going off memory here... I remember something about a huge type of deer- (I want to say something like a "Red/Irish Elk"?). And at one time there was a sort of British Puma - maybe more like a lynx, and it was historically extinct long before, but it could still be around in Mythic Europe, and perhaps much larger than life, as it were. Badgers- nasty little critters. Boars- a classic, and a very dangerous foe. And wolves- another species wiped out by civilization.

Bears?... not sure, but why not?

I think if "rabbits" were introduced that late, then maybe(?) someone is distinguishing between rabbits and their larger surlier cousin, hares.

(Edit- ya got me thinkin', and here's a link- didn't read it, but I'm sure it'll confirm/contradict the above more authoritatively.)

Pretty sure there were bears.

Quail? Other types of avions?

Rodentia, too. Rats, obviously. Squirrels? Raccoons?

swans, peafowl, quail, partridge, storks, cranes, larks
hedgehog and squirrel

No 'Coons in Blighty. :wink:

I think that I've read that bears hadn't been seen in England for some time ("in my grandfather's day").

I think that I read this in a White wolf era Ars Magica book (perhaps the Medieval Handbook) so it might not be the best source.

Golden Eagle

Presumably , there are a few more around in the 13th century.
Wild Boar , from the Book of Mundane Beasts.
List of extinct animals of the British Isles
List of British mammals

Boar and wolf were slowly being hunted to extinction in the 13th century England. The boar was reserved for the king whereas the wolf was a vermin - to such a degree that King John actually ransomed 5 shillings per wolfhead to encourage the people to hunt the wolves. And Robert Bartlett (a very respected historian of our time) has stated a life and death struggle as 'the fight between human beings and wolves, England's fiercest and second fiercest mammals'.

The king had monopoly on the forrest - and since they were a steady income source it was a way for the king to increase his funds to let the countryside turn to forrest. It became such an issue that it took a key role in the rebellion of the barons and in the wording of the Magna Carta. As a side effect this also made the living easier on many wild animals - if it wasn't because they got hunted in those forrests!

The Boar, Hart, hinds, stags, touch fallow or red deer, feral cattle (as many of 12 of these were recorded to have been taken in the forrest of Essex in 1198 to 1207) were all the kings own. Whereas fox, wild cat, otter, badger, squirrel, roe deer, hare and rabbit was lesser game and those legal to hunt by the local lords.

As we all recollect the punishment for poaching were very strict in England - and some contemporaries also complained that it was as strict as the one for homocide. Eyes being put out or the poacher simply being executed. And if a dog should be allowed in or near a forrest -such as a serfs dog for tending flocks etc- it had to have some of its claws cut completely off as not to be able to hunt.

Btw - By the use of ditches and moats deer parks were also becoming common!

As for the bear -I don't think it was common in medieval England except for a stray once in a while- but in my game I certainly have them in the mythic variant of England.

The Medieval Countryside of Herefordshire
Most of the above info is slightly expanded in this article.

No racoons- strictly American.

One of my favorite childhood books, Wind in the Willows*, uses the common indigenous British small animals of later years - (water) rats, moles, badgers, and stoats/weasels. And bullfrogs.

(* Highly recommended for any child under 10, or any adult who's a child at heart. There are two chapters, "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" and another that are edited out in some versions because they portray the god Pan as a real entity and patron protector of animals, and this is seen by some as non-christian - whatever. Get the original.)

[i]What will be the next? That Harry Pot....? ohh! :smiley:

I kind of miss the good old 'Dark Dungeon'-days when a secluded minority of roleplayers were the ones bashed for being in league with the Antichrist. Nowadays the fight is with libraries, schools and publishing houses over Potter, Narnia and Pokemon for being satanic in nature. I miss my hobby having the dark stain of stigma on it. :imp: Errh. Well, I don't, in fact. :slight_smile: [/i]

In Australia , i don't think we ever had a Satanic slur upon RPGs ,
except as imported from America.
It seems that those countries with a more prevalent Fundamentalist Christian movement ,
than we have here , are causing all the trouble.

I blame that recalcitrant Martin Luther for not supporting kindly Pope Leo X. :unamused:
King Henry VIII as well.

Couldnt quite let go. Maybe because I was surprised that the it had been censured - but on the other hand it might be what made it inspire both Pink Floyd's debut and Van Morrison as well as the author John Middleton Murry/Richard Cowper (who wrote a supposedly brilliant science fictionisque medieval story).

anyway - extracts from the original Piper can be found here and here.
Chapter VII is included.

I've always wanted to read that.

Don't ask me what made me say 'coons, I should remembered. ;D
They're just absurdly common about here, it's on the brain when I think of rodents.

that's odd - raccoons aren't rodents...
Note we also have no Skunks, but do have Hedgehogs

Yes, but they ARE pests.

We Aussies have Coon cheese , but it contains no actual Racoon.
Nazi racoons invade the wineland

That's a damned shame. Clearly you need more coon!

Cute buggers, even if they get into EVERYTHING.