Red squirrel, Cumbria, United Kingdom, by Rosamund Macfarlane

Picture Story

We have been fortunate to live during lockdown in a very rural location next to a small wood in Cumbria, UK and equally fortunate to have a sizeable garden. During these months the countryside around us has had far less footfall than usual and wildlife in general has thrived. We live in one of the last bastions of red squirrel populations in the UK (apart from Scotland) and are on a frontier between the indigenous red and the grey squirrels which were imported in the late nineteenth century. We help with recording and feeding the local populations. Several reds come to the garden regularly throughout the year to eat the hazelnuts we put out for them – the squirrel equivalent of chocolates! Each year there are new kits, and they have very different characters, but the extroverts amongst them have become remarkably bold than and comparatively “tame”. This one was prepared to tolerate me lying on the grass not far away, so that I could open my shutter wide to blur both foreground and background.

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