I spotted a thriving community of red squirrels during a visit to the Yorkshire Dales. They were running along a stone wall on the outskirts of a village near Hawes. It turned out that villagers had been tempting them out of a nearby coniferous forest with hazelnuts.
This confierous forest was gradually being replaced with deciduous woodland. Red squirrels used to be widespread in deciduous forests but are now mainly confined to coiniferous plantations where the food source doesn't favour greys squirrels - the species that, due to a virus it carries, has all but decimated reds in this country.
Environmental agents now favour new plantations of native deciduous forests over conifer plantations but I wonder whether this current thinking will spell the end of these few remaining red squirrel strongholds.
Just eight miles away from this red squirrel community I spotted two grey squirrels - a little too close for comfort for my liking.
To find out more please follow this link to read my latest article on it in the Malton Gazette & Herald.