Meet the Endangered Species in our Woodland Tale


We’re so thrilled to finally be able to share our Holiday animation with you all and we’re possibly even more excited to also share the story and inspiration behind it. So grab that cup of tea or glass of wine and settle in, it might not quite be what you are expecting…

Our Holiday animation was inspired by our love of the British countryside and the creatures that live there, but also our fierce desire to protect it. Trees are essential in the fight against climate change and affects us on a global scale. We’ve partnered with American Forests to plant trees and restore the natural habitat that inspires. Our goal is to plant 20,000 trees by 2022.  

American Forests is the oldest conservation organization in the U.S. and works to protect and restore threatened forest ecosystems. They’ve completed reforestation projects in all 50 U.S. states and nearly 50 countries. We are proud to be a part of their work! 

It comes as no surprise then that our Holiday animation has a woodland theme, but something that you might not have spotted is all the little animals flitting in and out. Each of these cute little creatures is an endangered inhabitant of our British woodlands. They’re cheeky, beautiful and very special, so much so that we’d like to introduce each of them in person and tell you why they’re so important to us.

Meet the Red Squirrel

Full of energy and charismatic charm, the red squirrel was once a common sight across the UK but has disappeared from most of the country due to the introduction of grey squirrels (which are found all over the U.S.). These nimble little creatures are devils at climbing as they have extremely flexible ankle joints which allow them to rotate their hind feet and to move up and down trees with ease. They can also jump more than 2m – not bad for an animal with a body length of less than 25cm! Unlike the hazel dormouse, they don’t hibernate, although they may be less active in winter, not unlike us humans…

animation Red squirrel (30)

Meet the Capercaillie

The capercaillie is the world’s largest grouse so it’s no surprise that this bird is a rather impressive fella. Living in the native pinewoods of northern Scotland, they spend most of their time on the ground and are rarely sighted. Capercaillie may be a rare sight but they can be spotted in the USA too! Males (like the one pictured here) are covered in glossy black feathers with red eye markings and a green tinge on their chests, while females are brown and mottled, with an orange-brown throat.

Our favorite fact about them? It has to be their name: the Gaelic name for the bird is capall-coille, meaning ‘horse of the forest’.

animation Capercaille
Male Capercaillie, Rosey Norton - WTML

Meet the Hazel Dormouse

The hazel dormouse is a sleepy little soul that can spend as much as seven months of the year asleep (we’re only slightly jealous). Undeniably cute, they’re super tiny too at only 6-9cm in body length and roughly the same tail length. Due to their size, you’ll be very lucky to spot one, especially as they usually reside in branches in the woodland canopy and rarely descend to ground level other than to hibernate.

animation hazel dormouse

Meet the Pine Marten

Not to be confused with similar-looking creatures like weasels or stoats, the pine marten has chocolate-brown fur and a pale-yellow patch around its throat. As their name suggests, pine martens favor woodland habitats and are most likely to be seen in trees (lets plant more)! Male pine martens require at least 200 hectares of woodland for their territory (think about that next time you have to share a room) and they’re also the only UK mustelids with semi-retractable claws. During the summer, around 30% of their diet may be made up of bilberries, turning their scats blue!

animation pine marten
pine m

We hope you loved reading about the animals in our Holiday animation! Did you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments!

You can also find out more about how we’re working with American Forests here.

1 Comment

  • Sherry Roberts

    10.12.2020 at 16:11 Reply

    Really enjoyed reading about the animals and seeing their pictures. The red squirrel and pine marten look particularly cute. The video was sweet— a great idea to help enjoy the feeling and joy of the season. Thank you.

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