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Going nuts for forests

By Philip Murray

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The Red Squirrel: A Future in Forest
The Red Squirrel: A Future in Forest

JAW-dropping snapshots of one of the Highlands’ most charismatic animals have been published in a book in a bid to highlight the species’ plight and efforts to save it.

The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest features stunning imagery by award-winning wildlife photographer Neil McIntyre, who has spent the last 20 years documenting the lives of the popular mammal in the Highlands.

He hopes it will make the case for the expansion of the squirrel’s native woodland home – the Caledonian forest.

Native woodland covers just two per cent of Scotland, which has left red squirrel populations fragmented among isolated islands of trees.

Trees for Life, which has a base in Dundreggan and is looking to restore some of the country’s lost Caledonian forest, has welcomed the book. Its founder, Alan Watson Featherstone, said: "Through our ongoing project to reintroduce red squirrels to forests in the north-west Highlands, we’ve found that communities really care about red squirrels and want to see them thrive.

"For that to happen, we need to grow the area of wild forest. We hope the book will inspire more people to support the restoration of the Caledonian forest, and all the wonderful wildlife such as red squirrels, that depend on it."

The new book is the first in a planned series from Scotland: The Big Picture, a project which hopes to make the case for a wilder Scotland.

The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest is available now from www.scotlandbigpicture.com

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