Following the great reception given to the cute seal pup featuring in my last post I thought I’d spark off a search for the UK’s cutest native species!
Visitors to the UK love to discover the richness and diversity of the UK’s fauna, and with everything from hedgehogs to dolphins populating the British Isles and its surrounding waters, we have much to enjoy! Although our status as an island has meant that continental species such as the wild boar and brown bear have been hunted to extinction in the British Isles, it is still home to a great selection of native creatures, many of which rank highly in the cute stakes…
Swimming with dolphins is on most people’s bucket lists, and although you’ll probably need flights to Florida in order to actually swim with the creatures and touch them, you can enjoy dolphins from a distance at various locations in the UK. The best areas for dolphin-spotting mainly focus around Cornwall, Devon and Scotland. Prawle Point in Devon, Cardigan Bay in Wales and Moray Firth in Inverness, Scotland are all good spots to catch a glimpse of these amazing creatures.
Otters have been returning to England’s rivers since the 1970s thanks to greater controls on water quality and the banning of otter hunting in Britain in 1978. Part of the weasel family, otters are the top of the food chain in Britain’s river environments, and carry a healthy dose of charm with it!
Now if these creatures don’t warm the cockles of your heart I have no idea what will. The UK boasts colonies of both grey and common seals, which can be seen at locations such as Cornwall, the Moray Firth, Blakeney in Norfolk and the Orkney Islands.
OK so adult swans are generally described as being ‘graceful’ and ‘elegant’ rather than cute, but signets certainly fit the bill here (puns aside). Surely making a mockery of the legend of the ugly duckling, these fluffy white creatures are far from it!
The Dartmoor Pony is a semi-feral protected species native to Britain, which roams freely across Dartmoor in Devon. The species is a hardy one, and has to be to survive the harsh conditions on the open moors, but is also placid and well-natured, being used as breeding stock for riding ponies.
Certainly not exclusive to the UK, being found in most northern hemisphere countries, but the red fox is certainly a handsome beast. Fox cubs rate well on the cuteness scale, and city dwellers in the UK are probably more likely to spot plucky urban dwelling foxes than those out in the countryside.
These brightly-coloured, dumpy little birds contribute significantly to the UK’s birdsong soundtrack, even singing at night around streetlights. Renowned for being the ‘gardener’s friend’, robins are relatively bold and unafraid of humans, and Britain even has its own subspecies – Erithacus rubecula melophilus – which is slightly different from the continental robin.