At Hilton Coylumbridge

The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest

The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest

Posted by Hilton Coylumbridge, May, 2017

"The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest" features images of these illicit animals by award-winning wildlife photographer Neil McIntyre, who's based in the Cairngorms National Park.

Squirrels in Scotland

The demise of the red squirrel began in the late 19th century when grey squirrels were introduced from North America as (what they thought would be) an attractive addition to our parks and forests.

However, these charismatic creatures out-competed their smaller, red relatives for food and brought over squirrelpox, which couldn’t be fought by our native species.

Today, almost all the red squirrel population has been lost from England and Wales, with only an estimated 39,000 of the 160,000 remaining animals living there.

Though squirrelpox is only found in the south of Scotland, its spread still remains the greatest risk to the remaining red population.


Neil Mcintyre’s Ode to the Squirrel

"The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest" celebrates the red squirrel and has been crafted using Mcintyre’s imagery spanning the last 20 years; many captured through enticing these elusive characters with hazelnuts!

Written by celebrated natural history author, Polly Pullar, and brought to life by the Wild Media Foundation, this book is a gift of expertise and emotion. As Polly Pullar explains: “A world without the red squirrel’s endearing arboreal acrobatics is too catastrophic to contemplate”.

Readers will discover a passionate red squirrels community, opening further discussion about their survival across Scotland. Crowdfunded exclusively by the public through Kickstarter, it’s apparent there’s already a lot of interest in the lives of these endangered creatures.

Show your support and buy the book here.


Where can you spot red squirrels?

Catch a glimpse of a red squirrel during your stay at Hilton Coylumbridge. Our location in the Cairngorms National Park provides reds with some of their best habitats, acting as a refuge for our native species – as they’re doing so well, it’s even thought they can now be exported to other parts of the country.


As you walk through the local forest, remember to look up to catch a glimpse of a bushy tail in the trees and listen for their nimble claws dancing across a branch. Reds can be seen in most of the local woodland, however Boat of Garten is one of the best places to spy them.


Make the most of the spring weather with our special offers and plan a weekend getaway as you go on a squirrel spotting adventure. Perfect for the entire family, spotting these unique creatures offers a fun way to peak little ones’ interest in local wildlife preservation. With nesting boxes placed around the hotel grounds you may even catch a glimpse of one from your window!