There is something rather special about red squirrels and I’ve always felt quite attached to them. Perhaps it was growing up in Cumbria, but I always enjoyed Beatrix Potter’s The tale of Squirrel Nutkin and at one point we had a red squirrel who lived in our back garden which was great. Because they are now so rare, it feels incredibly lucky if you have seen one. When we heard about a place in Scotland that had an abundance of red squirrels which you could get quite close to, it definitely seemed worth checking out.
Eskrigg Reserve is run by Lockerbie Wildlife Trust and is not the sort of place you would stumble upon by accident. But if you are in the area, it is worth seeking out. Whilst the red squirrels were undoubtedly the star species, there is plenty of other fauna, flora and fungi to enjoy. There are woodland walks and hides where you can watch or photograph the wildlife. Whilst there is a dedicated red squirrel hide, it is not necessary to be in it in order to see the squirrels. We sat outside and the squirrels seemed quite happy.
It was fantastic to see the squirrels, and especially to see them so at ease. One of the things I enjoyed most about our visit though was just enjoying being outdoors and close to nature. Although I live in the country, it can be far too easy to become blind to what is all around you. Sometimes a change in location is what it takes to appreciate the beauty of nature around you again.