Grey squirrel in a park in Chester, England.

Britain is home to a wide range of animals, including native species, feral animals, farm animals, and domestic pets  – and examples of each of these categories can be seen in this photo gallery.

The native British wildlife that are shown here include the red deer of the Scottish highlands and shaggy highland cattle that are perfectly adapted to the region’s harsh winter  climate.

The ponies of the New Forest and Exmoor regions of England are also native species as are several breeds of sheep, and those shown here include Herdwick sheep, the majority of which live in the Lake District of Cumbria, Swaledale sheep that favour more northern areas of England, and Cheviot sheep that originated in the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland.

Aquatic British wildlife shown in this gallery include Atlantic / grey seals and the curious spiny sea urchin.

Rabbits are featured here too, and It’s often assumed that these appealing little animals are native to Britain but the reality is that rabbits are an introduced species with the ancestors of today’s wild populations believed to have been brought to Britain by the Normans in the 11th century.

The wild goats of the Scottish highlands, which are also pictured in this gallery, are generally regarded as being unwelcome feral animals, despite the fact that their ancestors  were introduced to Britain during the Neolithic era several thousand years ago, and that fact raises a question. When does an introduced species earn the right to shrug of the derisory title of ‘feral’  and finally win the right to be called a native species?

There’s no debate about the status of the herd of approximately 130 Kashmiri goats that roam across the Great Orme, the rocky hill that borders the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno, for they only arrived on the scene around 100 years ago. They occasionally make themselves unwelcome when they wander into the town and feast on garden plants, and they’re admired by some people and despised by others, Here you can see one of these attractive animals and make up your own mind whether or not you would want it and its mates as your neighbours.

Take a look at the images of grey squirrels that are included in this gallery and you might be charmed by their physical appearance, but while they’re loved by many people, they’re reviled by others, and for a very good reason.  Grey squirrels were introduced into Britain from the USA in the 19th century  and today have a population of around 2.7 million. They have had a disastrous impact on populations of native red squirrels and not only compete with them for food, but are also carriers of a disease, known as squirrelpox, to which the invaders are immune but that is fatal to red squirrels.

Britain is a country of animal lovers, and domestic pets, including dogs and donkeys that provide children with pleasurable memories of a ride along the beach, also feature in this image gallery.


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