In search of Squirrel Nutkin

Tony and I decided to escape for the day last week; the blue sky beckoned so we packed our walking shoes and camera and set off in search of Squirrel Nutkin.

We headed for the National Trust Reserve at Formby, on the coast just north of Liverpool. Alas, we did not see a single red squirrel probably due to the devastating effects of recent disease outbreaks. It is estimated that numbers are slightly on the increase now but they were certainly very thin on the ground the day we visited.

I have seen red squirrels in the wild in Austria and was amazed at the colour variations, some very dark sable brown, others bright orange/red. Sadly they are very rare here in the UK despite a great deal of conservation work.

The day was not wasted however as the reserve has some lovely picnic areas and walks through pine forests, sand hills and down to the sea. A huge expanse of sandy beach stretches as far as the eye can see, north towards Southport and south towards Liverpool and the walk helped to lift our spirits.

The illustration is taken from my "Illustrated Address Book".