At the start of 2023 I started working on a new collection of woodland wildlife art prints, each exploring tree dwelling creatures found in British forests. Now I’m very excited to share the first four new art prints in this collection, each featuring some of the gems of native UK wildlife, including:
And the wonderful Pine Marten
Hazel Dormice are such small, secretive, and shy little woodland creatures. They hibernate over winter and are known for their sleepy nature; in fact, their name is believed to come from the French word "dormir" meaning to sleep! They are currently in danger of extinction due to habitat loss, but conservation work is ongoing to try and save them – take a look here to find out more about this work and how we can all help and support Hazel Dormice.
This late summer woodland inspired art print shows dormice as they clamber and climb in and around a hedgerow, which I painted with a tangle of hazel and wild strawberries.
The Red Squirrel is a favourite when it comes to woodland wildlife, they are most at home up in the trees foraging for pine nuts, seeds and fungi. They are endearing little creatures, stowing away food for the long winter months, in fact one of the best times to see them is in the autumn as they prepare for the colder season ahead.
They are rare to come by now but still have some strongholds in the UK where they are supported through conservation - if you’re interested in trying to spot a Red Squirrel in the wild then take a look at the National Trust’s handy guide.
These two red squirrel art prints feature these lovely critters in their woodland habitat surrounded by forest foliage and flora, including Scots pine, hawthorn, wild cherry, hazel and of course some woodland mushrooms.
The Pine Marten is a native woodland creature with a beautiful brown coat and creamy-yellow bib. They’re found in forests with a diverse and flourishing habitat where they can hunt and forage for food as well as test their adept tree climbing skills! Although they will hunt smaller animals, they also have a fondness for bilberries, and in some cases up to 30% of their summer diet can be made up of them!
Pine Martens are hugely rare now due to habitat lost and historical predator control, but they are thankfully making a comeback, and populations are naturally recovering and expanding due to conservation efforts. You can take a look here at the work of Vincent Wildlife Trust for information on Pine Marten recovery projects.
These tree dwelling animals are just a few of the wonderful creatures found in native UK forests and I’ve absolutely loved discovering more about their wild worlds and the ways in which we can help conserve and recover their populations. There’s something wonderful about the secretive nature of the lives they lead in the forest, and I hope I managed to portray a little of their unique characters in these art prints!