This evil-looking beastie has taken up residence on the side of (the now deserted) Scargills' nest box.
One can tell this is a Walnut Orb Weaver spider by looking at the very distinctive patterns on its back (and underside for that matter- 2 white marks).
This spider WILL bite if threatened. I have a feeling some people are much more 'reactive' to spider bites than others. I've been bitten by 2 spiders that I SAW biting me - a Wolf Spider in my garden once, and a House Spider in a Swimming Pool. Not much effect really.
However, I obviously went to bed with a relatively large spider once, which bit me very hard as I slept. The very-raised 2 red puncture wounds caused me a day of grief the following morning, but I never found the culprit!
I have constantly tried to scale sheer walls ever since, to no avail. My "Spidey-powers" obviously haven't quite kicked in just yet...
Anyway, allegedly, the Walnut Orb Weaver Spider can and will bite, and if you are prone to reacting badly to spiders bites, you could expect a nasty red lump, and what I'm told feels like a bruise, for a few hours or so. You've been warned!
These spiders like fences and garden-posts, have a fat body (size of a 20p piece, tops) and that pattern on their backs, are not at all rare, they're in gardens all over the place and do us a huge favour really - eating all the insects we do ALL hate - those pesky flies.