Book Review – The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest

Book Review – The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest

The Red Squirrel: A Future in the Forest is the Big Picture’s first launch in a series of breathtakingly astonishing conservation books.

Before you start to think that this isn’t the book for you, let me tell you there is something for everyone as you flick through these pages tdone in the october mago discover more about the fascinating small animal that is the red squirrel. 

Want to know who would win in a battle between a red squirrel and pine marten? Or learn about the hard times ahead for young squirrels?

This book is full of interesting facts and provokes emotion throughout: whether it’s making you laugh by studying the photos that capture the elf-like spirit and exceptional character that is so integral to the character of the red squirrel, or giving you a surprising and rare insight into how squirrels rear their young, or even inspiring concern that the future of all red squirrels futures is uncertain as they are becoming more endangered everyday.

The Red Squirrel by Polly Pullar

With its silky coat of browns, reds and oranges, its snow white belly and small pointed ears; there’s no wonder Neil McIntyre and Polly Pullar have so thoroughly enjoyed the creation of this fabulous, must-read book. The two have invested enormous amounts of time to make this book as detailed and captivating as it is. One example of this is that many of the glossy photographs that make this book so aesthetically pleasing have taken up to two months to capture as the red squirrel is as timid as it is rare.

Some of you may never have seen a red squirrel in flesh, but as you read The Red Squirrel: a Future in the Forest, you will be drawn-in by the exquisite up-close photography that is so stunning that you won’t be able to help falling in love with the species. These photos are brought to you by Cairngorms photographer Neil McIntyre, who has spent 20 years following the lives of his local squirrels and thus developed an intimate friendship that has allowed him to capture them in their natural habitat. 

Although his aim is to showcase the squirrel’s beauty and provoke interest, Neil stresses that the Big Picture’s aspiration to amplify the case for a wilder Scotland, resonates perfectly with this book as it seeks not only to celebrate this endearing mammal but to shine a light on the challenges it faces. Peter Cairns, who is the books publisher and fellow conservationist photographer said, ‘Neil’s beautiful images shine a unique light on one of Scotland’s best-loved mammals, but squirrels need forests just as much as forests need squirrels. I hope this book will ignite fresh conversations about that crucial link.’

The words of Polly Pullar are also to be praised and sit wonderfully alongside Neil McIntyre’s images. They really are as thought provoking as they are insightful and evocative and ensure that this book is one to be treasured.

The Red Squirrel by Polly Pullar, published by Scotland: The Big Picture, £25.

Scottish Field rating: ****


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