Quick & Quirky Questions with Polly Pullar

Polly Pullar is a conservationist, naturalist, writer and photographer with over 30 years professional experience. She is the co-founder of A Write Highland Hoolie – Mallaig Book Festival and is a regular chair at her favourite book festival – Wigtown. She specialises in wildlife and countryside matters and is also a wildlife rehabilitator. She contributes to a wide selection of magazines every month and is the author of nine books, including – A Richness of Martens – Wildlife Tales from the Highlands, and The Red Squirrel – A Future in the Forest. Her latest book – A Scurry of Squirrels – Nurturing the Wild, was published in July 2021, and her memoir will be published in July 2022. She is a keen hill walker and sailor and lives in Highland Perthshire with a large menagerie including two red deer hinds, squirrels, hedgehogs and three Border collies – and a long-suffering partner.

Tell us 4 important facts about yourself:

  1. My son Freddy is my greatest achievement
  2. I need to get outside into nature every day to walk and think and find that if I don’t then I am probably even more difficult to live with!
  3. Animals, including my dogs, pet sheep and deer, are my passion
  4. I am an over-thinker and increasingly suffer from what I can only describe as eco-angst. In the words of Don Henley of the Eagles: ‘We have mortgaged our future for gain and greed’. 

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

Probably around sixteen when I was at Gordonstoun because everything was handed to me on a plate – including hill walking, sailing and expeditions into the mountains. It was during my time there that I forged the finest friendships of my life. It was also during this era that I first fell truly in love – probably why I have very few qualifications – but I learned wonderful life skills instead that I have used ever since. 

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

Hugh Lofting’s wonderful Dr Doolittle who could talk to animals and make them better. I really wanted to be like him. Famous person? Can I cheat please? Doddie Weir. He’s not over 60 but he’s one of Scotland’s national treasures – he’s not only a lovely person full of devilment, but an incredible inspiration to us all.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

My laptop because it has most of my treasured family photographs on it.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

Being in the wilds alone with my camera and no time constraints, and good light! Photographers spend their lives chasing light. 

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

I hate nylon sheets! Awful creations that are hot and create a lot of static. Luckily, they are rare today. I hope they never have a resurgence. Sometimes when people are grumbling about nothing, I am tempted to say, ‘well at least you are not sleeping in a bed with nylon sheets.’ 

Read Polly’s lovely guest blog post on Squirrels!

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