When self-taught Lake District filmmaker and photographer Terry Abraham began a passion project on red squirrels, he couldn't have envisioned just how much its message would resonate with audiences.

After successful premieres in Cumbria and London in August and September last year, the award-winning creator has received a plethora of outstanding reviews - including from outdoors author Chris Townsend.

During the best part of two years, Terry was a one-person crew filming, directing and producing Cumbrian Red to highlight their struggle against the non-native grey squirrel.

READ MORE: Why Phoenix the red squirrel has re-ignited hope for pox ruined colony

Not only did he set about finding a panel of experts from different backgrounds but he also bonded with the 'red scamps'. 

After such hard work, the idea of the BBC editing his labour of love was a daunting prospect, however Terry approved Cumbria's Red Squirrels - the BBC version of Cumbrian Red. 

"The basic educational message is still there and many of mine and the audience’s favourite scenes," he said.

"The facts are still there however I've had to update what I've included from scientists and conservationists as a few things have changed since first filming.

"Of course Queen Oscar still features and certain special moments from my full film.

The Mail: Princess Oscar being nursed back to health"Deciding what to cut was tough at times as I put my heart and soul into this project and I'd turned down other collaborations do this.

"It all went swimmingly, however. The film has now been shortened from one hour and forty minutes to just one hour.

"Because it was just me the first time, I had an idea already of what scenes could possibly be cut.

"There were some ideas that when the BBC put them me, I didn't agree.

"But when I went away and thought about it, I thought: 'You know what, they're right'.

"My wife was worried in case I was being a diva however when I put that to one of the BBC team she said quite the opposite about how open and receptive I was to ideas - which I was relieved about.

"That's why it's great to work with other people as you learn from each other."

The Mail: A squirrel with the first signs of squirrel pox spotted at Rutter Falls the first sTerry stresses that there were some elements of the film that he insisted were kept to ensure the impact of the film, as well as its authenticity.

Terry said: "I insisted that the scenes with the dreaded pox non-native greys carry be kept in. 

"Not only that, but I’ve actually added to the BBC version with extra images.

"Although they're brutal, it's important to show the impact the dreaded pox has that is carried by the non-native greys."

"Unfortunately, narrator Eric Robson was unable to contribute this time around so the script has been re-recorded by Helen Millican.

"She has that authentic Cumbrian voice which was essential for me - I couldn't have a Southern voice narrating the film, it had to be authentically Cumbrian.

"Like Eric, Helen brings warmth and heart to the film."

The Mail: Cumbrian Red has become known for it stunning shots of the Lake DistictCumbria's Red Squirrels is set to air on bank holiday Monday, May 27 at 9pm on BBC Four and iPlayer.

Terry added: "I'm quietly excited and it'll be quite strange to watch it on TV as it'll be like I'm detached from it again.

"The build-up makes me quite nervous so my phone might go away for a while and I may just watch the opening - see how it goes.

"I'm away with my wife in the Lake District when it airs the day after our wedding anniversary so we may just go and enjoy some Lake District pubs."