In Britain Red Squirrels only survive in isolated pockets, but conservation schemes are helping them to recover. Some of our young have been included in a scheme on Anglesey, and planting large areas of trees, including Scots pine, larch and spruce is taking place as they provide the best food.
The main reason they became rare was the introduction in 1876 of the dominant Grey Squirrel, but also woodland disturbance and viral diseases.
Squirrels make a nest of twigs and leaves which is called a ‘drey’. The Cornwall Red Squirrel Project aims to bring them back to Cornwall, so in future you may see squirrels bred here scampering around local woods.
We find that the squirrels have very active periods each morning and afternoon, but are usually sound asleep at midday.
The red squirrel population in the UK stands at about 120,000 individuals. Of these 75% are in Scotland. By comparison there are estimated to be 3 to 5 million grey squirrels in the UK.