THESE delightful young stoats have found a perfect playground.

They chase around happily near their den under and old shed in Denise Bartle's garden in Bridge Sollers, near Hereford.

Denise, a member of the

Hereford Times Camera Club

, said: "I first saw a stoat here about five years ago. She had five kits with her.

"I saw these kits two days ago, but couldn't get close enough to take a picture. So I sat in the garden close to where they had been playing and waited."

The stoat is related to the weasel and otter, according to the Wildlife Trusts


It has an orange body, black-tipped tail and distinctive bounding gait. It can be seen on grassland, heaths and in woodlands across the UK.

Denise used a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18 to 140mm lens.

How to tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel

At first glance stoats and weasels are very similar looking animals... but there are ways to distinguish them

  1. Stoats have a longer tail with a distinctive black tip that weasels do not have.
  2. If it has white on its back, it is a stoat. Weasels do not turn white in winter.
  3. Stoats tend to bound along when they are running. Weasels generally move quicker and lower to the ground