Foot of the Climb
I've long wanted to photograph red squirrels, but had never had the chance until now. This little one is one of a number that reside at National Trust Formby on the west coast of the UK, and no doubt will be seen a lot more whilst I'm living in the North of the country! Although listed as a species of least concern by the IUCN, they're protected over here due to serious competition with the invasive grey squirrel that has left us with only about 140,000 individuals dotted around the country. Although there is no violent or antagonistic behaviour shown between the two, greys have a more varied and available diet and carry a virus (the squirrel parapox virus) that, despite not causing harm to the greys, kills the native reds. It was in fact this disease that devastated the population at Formby, and it's only just started recovering. There is still a very limited number to be found, but I very much look forward to seeing numbers recover in the near future.