For several years we have seen little snow in our area so to have a few flakes, which I counted on the fingers of one hand was even more unusual in late November.

Wildlife can cope quite well in light snow but heavy falls pose problems and if water bodies ice over then that can be extremely difficult especially for water birds that rely on a diet of fish.

In extreme conditions kingfishers (pictured) have been known to fly to the coast and forage in rock pools on beaches.

Herons can starve but they relish alternative items of food such as voles, mice and indeed anything small that is available and can be caught.

Also at risk are dabbling ducks, coots, moorhens and others as they cannot dive to access their staple diet of water plants.

Tiny birds such as wrens and goldcrests suffer in bitter weather as their small bodies lose heat rapidly . Way back in the very severe winter of 1963 for example wrens suffered a massive mortality rate and only slowly recovered to become what is claimed to be Britain's most numerous species, although I would question that.

Wrens have even been known to roost en-masse in garden bird boxes to keep warm.

When water freezes it turns to ice of course which fortunately forms at the surface leaving warmer water below. The opposite occurs in summer when warm water rises above colder water at the bottom and over millennia nature has adapted to such conditions.