The one issue everyone in Scotland can unite on? – leader comment

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Saving the red squirrel is a cause that, surely, we can all sign up for.

In evolutionary terms at least, it was not all that long ago that Scotland was home to vast swathes of its native forest.

So for an animal like the red squirrel, for millennia, it made a lot of sense to stick to its branches and avoid venturing out into open spaces where it would be exposed to a number of deadly predators. And then, sudddenly, it didn’t.

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After humans decided to cut down huge numbers of trees, this survival strategy proved to be severely hazardous to the iconic species’ health.

Their innate fear or dislike of open spaces saw populations become isolated, adding to their well-documented problems as a result of the introduction of their grey cousins from overseas.

But now 20 reds are to be moved – by humans – from groups in Inverness-shire and Moray to a suitable wood of pine and oak on the banks of the Dornoch Firth as part of a reintroduction programme.

So at least we are helping this delightful species cope with a problem we have caused.

And surely, in these divided times, we can all get behind this one simple idea – saving Scotland’s red squirrels.