Snaizeholme is small area near to Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales and is home to a good population of Red Squirrels. I had never seen a Red Squirrel before let alone photograph one so wanted to tick this off the ever growing list I have. I booked a seat in the photography hide offered by Wild Dales Photography who are passionate about the conservation of these fantastic little creatures.
The first thing I noticed was how small these are compared to our non-native Grey Squirrel. There is a lot of confusion surrounding the effect the Grey has on the survival of the Red with many people thinking the Greys attack and kill the Reds. This is not the case, the Grey Squirrel carries the Squirrelpox virus which is deadly to the Reds, although recent reports are hinting that the Red is becoming more defensive against the virus which is great news.
The Red Squirrels thrive in numbers at Snaizeholme as their habitat is cut off from the rest of the area which means the Greys are not in residence. Although I was in the hide, there is a Red Squirrel Nature Trail which is open to the public. Myself and better half Emma walked this trail and saw plenty of Squirrels running around the forest. For more information about visiting Snaizeholme, please see the Nature in the Dales Website.
Luckily, I had the entire hide to myself for the 5 hours which meant I could use the many hatches and also set up my D7100 to capture video (Available Here). The light wasn’t great, but considering it had been raining for the previous 5 days I was just happy for a dry day.
(Click to view in Lightbox)