Winter WILDLIFE
WOMAN'S WEEKLY|December 01, 2020
Brrr… it may be cold out there, but these beautiful native creatures are brilliantly adapted for the chilly weather
ANNABEL KEMP

Red squirrels

Recognised by many as Beatrix Potter’s ‘Squirrel Nutkin’, red squirrels have a charming appearance – russet-red fur, tufty ears and extremely bushy tails.

These acrobatic climbers skitter across treetops at dizzying heights, looking for nuts and storing away fungi to eat over winter. The best time to spot red squirrels is between November and March – there are no leaves on the trees to hide them, and many will venture to bird tables and peanut feeders.

Where to find them

Populations have declined, but there are strongholds in the wildlife reserves of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Lake District and Northumberland.

Though we often associate winter with hibernation, this remains a busy time of year for many animals. From long-whiskered otters to elusive pine martens and cheerful robins, here are some of our hardiest favourites…

Pine martens

Thanks to the thick chocolate-brown and cream fur that covers even their feet, pine martens are well equipped to survive long, snowy winters without hibernating.

As their name suggests, these mammals inhabit coniferous and pine forests, where they use holes in mature trees to shelter and raise their young.

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