As autumn fades into winter there’s an obvious temptation to shirk the great outdoors and spend your leisure time inside cocooned in layers of clothing and enveloped by the cosy glow of a fireside – or at least the heat of the nearest radiator.
If you do plan to turn your back on all things chilly, however, the outside world will still be alive with fascinating wildlife which you could well be missing out on.
Better still, some of it could be almost on your doorstep either paying a fleeting visit to your back garden or to be found slightly further afield in some of Rotherham and Barnsley’s open spaces or highways and byways.
Some nature reserves understandably close their doors to the public in the colder months and use the visitor-free times to carry out vital conservation and other work ready for welcoming new visitors in the coming year.
Others are open all year round including parks such as Rother Valley where the eye-catching image of an inquisitive grass snake was snapped by photographer Brian Hall. Just check the details of individual places before you plan a visit.
Earlier this year, Wath photographer Kevin Greenwood captured just a few examples of Yorkshire wildlife in all its seasonal glory including birds, insects and cattle.
To be in with a chance of glimpsing similar specimens at first hand, wrap up warm and head out to your nearest woodland, riverside or countryside location to see what you can spot. And, if you really do favour winter hibernation, then feel free to stay at home but keep a keen eye out of your windows where you’ve got every chance of spotting a chaffinch, bullfinch, blue tit, waxwing and of course Britain’s favourite bird, the much-loved robin.